For just the second time in 15 years, the Salvation Army in the Twin Cities came up short on its fundraising goal for the holiday season.
The charitable organization said Tuesday it raised $11.2 million in the last 92 days of 2014, which is $300,000 less than its goal of $11.5 million.
“We are gratified to have raised that much money,” said Major Jeff Strickler, Twin Cities Commander, in a news release. “But the fact that we fell short of our goal means we have work to do early in 2015. Otherwise, we run the risk of having to cut programming.”
The red kettles that are set up throughout the region, collecting donations from holiday shoppers after Thanksgiving, also fell about $50,000 short of their goal this year.
People donated nearly $3 million to the kettles, including an anonymous donor called "St. Grand," who has donated $1,000 at a time in various red kettles over the past few years. In early December, that person or another donor slipped $10,000 in cash into a kettle outside a grocery store in Bloomington.
Officials from the organization noticed early in December that donations of money as well as clothing were lagging behind compared to previous years.
The Salvation Army hopes to raise another $10 million in donations between now and the end of September, to help pay for the programs it runs in the Twin Cities including housing, meals and child care.
During the Christmas season, Salvation Army officials say the organization helped more than 4,000 households with holiday meals and provided toys and gifts for nearly 25,000 children in the metro area.