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Christmas Could Be Bleak This Year For Kansas City Families Relying On The Salvation Army

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Kyle Palmer
/
KCUR 89.3
Renee Creacy rings a bell outside Walmart in Roeland Park, Kansas, to encourage shoppers to donate to the Salvation Army.

With a day and a half to go before Christmas, the Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri needs a late push to meet its yearly fundraising goal of $1.2 million.

Major David Harvey says they still need to raise around $400,000.

Adding insult to injury, the Salvation Army vans in the Northland were damaged over the weekend — vandals stole catalytic converters and punched holes in the gas tanks. 

"If there are people who need help, they don't need to steal. They just need to come in and ask. We will help them above and beyond what they need, so their kids have a Chrismas, and so they have what they need — whether it's utility assistance or rent," he said.

Harvey said he thinks part of the issue this year is that Thanksgiving came a week later than normal.

"So that's one less week of bell-ringing that we were able to do and communicate our message to those who want to give and support their neighbors," he said.

Not meeting the fundraising goal would not only limit the organization's assistance to families this holiday season but also could affect its budget throughout the next year.

But Harvey hasn't lost hope. 

"God and the people here in Kansas City will assist us," he said.

The Salvation Army takes donations online, by phone or mail and in person at its trademark red kettles.

Andrea Tudhope is a reporter at KCUR 89.3. Email her at andreat@kcur.org and follow her on Twitter @andreatudhope

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