"Quite often we have people come up to us and say: Christmas would just not be Christmas if I didn't run across a Salvation Army kettle," Commanding officer of the Salvation Army Major David Worthy said.
A less than cheery outcome for the iconic Red Kettle Campaign.
The fundraiser ended on Tuesday coming up 80,000 dollars short of the target goal.
The campaign kicked off on November 21 with an original goal to raise 250,000 dollars.
"We've met our goal for at least the last 10 years. So, not in recent history have we not reached our budgeted goal," Major Worthy said.
It was not for the lack of holiday-spirit:
"The challenge this year wasn't really with people not giving. This community as it always does, dug very deep and they did contribute and give. We just were not able to cover enough locations on a daily basis with personnel, to generate the funds that we needed," Worthy explained.
The campaign struggled to retain paid workers, who bring in 75 percent of the donations.
The annual event is the largest fundraiser for the non-profit, generating 15 percent of its yearly budget.
"When we don't meet our goal, we move into the first and second quarters of the new year and we see what we're able to move around, what kind of funding comes in after the red kettle campaign, so we can continue to sustain the services and programs that the Salvation Army offers," Worthy said.
And as for next year...
"One of the lessons that we've learned this year is we really do need to put more emphasis early in the year to generating a volunteer support," he said.
The Salvation Army also generated 30 donations using the new credit card dip jars made available this year and the team will determine whether to invest in more, next holiday season.