PHOENIX - Donations to the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign are down 36 percent compared to this time last year, the organization says.
Public Relations Director Melany Stroupe said in an email that last year the campaign raised $1.86 million in the Valley in 2012.
Stroupe said the kettle season is shorter by five days because of a late Thanksgiving date which means they could potentially raise $670,000 less than in previous years.
Kettle gifts stay in the community in which they're donated and help provide meals and shelter for families in need, Christmas toys for thousands of children and many other services throughout the year, according to Stroupe.
"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 three weeks and be as generous as they can to help," said Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Joe Posillico.
The Salvation Army is encouraging the public to donate generously to the red kettles or on the Salvation Army website .