CINCINNATI — It's a sound that has become synonymous with holiday shopping: the ringing of a bell next to the Salvation Army red kettles. Tuesday night is the last night for collections, but total numbers coming in now show Cincinnati donations are down this year.
"A lot of that is geared towards the fact that Thanksgiving is a week later this year, so that's seven days less that we're able to be out," said Major Everett Henry, general secretary with the Salvation Army.
Henry said local donations are down $130,000 compared to 2018.
The overall goal between online donations and actual bell-ringers is $1 million, and teams try to collect about $600,000 of that out of kettles alone. As a result, the Salvation Army is pushing harder for online donations as the last day to contribute comes to an end.
"There are people still who are hurting, who have needs, who may not know where their next meal is coming," said Henry.
He said donations are critical to the Salvation Army's mission, which includes helping in the form of housing assistance or grocery and utility assistance for local families. Henry said if the Salvation Army doesn't close the donations gap a bit, it'll have to take a closer look at its budget and adjust their spending, alongside searching for new opportunities to raise money.