OKLAHOMA CITY - The Salvation Army said the donations they are receiving are down significantly, almost 56 percent less than last year.
Officials said Kettle gifts stay in the community where the money is donated and help provide meals and shelter for families in need, Christmas toys for thousands of children locally and many other services throughout the year.
Snow days and Thanksgiving being later, the Salvation Army is losing five vital days to be able to collect these donations.
Five fewer bell ringing days equates to about $20 million less in donations to The Salvation Army nationwide, officials said.
The recent winter storm has also taken a toll on donations received.
“I am very concerned about the lost kettle days this year and how this will impact our ability to help those who are hurting," Captain Carlyle Gargis said, Central Oklahoma Area Commander. "The red kettles are a symbol of giving and represent a tradition of caring that is passed down from generation to generation. We’re hoping that shoppers will remember their neighbors in need when they see a Salvation Army bell ringer in the community during the coming days and be as generous as they can to help."
The Salvation Army is encouraging the public to donate generously to the Red Kettles found on street corners, in malls, and at local retailers.
To help with the efforts, many members of the NewsChannel 4 family will be out ringing the bell for the Salvation Army Friday and Saturday at Penn Square Mall.
Friday we will be outside Macy's and Saturday will be outside Dillard's.
If you can't make it out to a kettle, you can donate online at okckettle.org.
Donations can also be mailed to P.O. Box 2095, Oklahoma City, OK 73101 or called in at 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769).
Gifts of stock are always welcome, too.