The organization could see a drop of $25,000 in donations this year

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FARMINGTON — The Salvation Army in Farmington reports a decline in the number of donations and bell ringers who collect donations as part of the organization's Red Kettle Campaign this year.

The organization is about $20,000 below the number of donations it received this year in contrast what was raised at this time in 2016, according to Lt. Darla Malone.

About $60,000 was raised by this point in the campaign in 2016 while just over $40,000 has been collected this year, Malone said.

The campaign goal is set for $82,000 and accounts for about 25 percent of the organization's funding for the year.

"I know it sounds like a lot, but this is actually the money that helps keep the doors open throughout the year," Malone said.

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The organization provides emergency financial assistance, food and nutrition programs, emergency shelter, clothing vouchers for its thrift store and seasonal services including a holiday meal for families, among other services.

More than 220 people received food donations last month, and six families received assistance paying their utility bill, Malone said.

Malone projected the organization has been collecting about $1,000 to $2,000 per day this year, which is a decline from the roughly $2,000 to $4,000 per day collected last year.

The organization could receive about $25,000 less for this year's drive if the current projections don't change.

A decline in the number of paid workers and volunteers who operate the kettles in the area hasn't helped.

About 12 to 13 paid workers per day are usually stationed outside area stores with the kettles, but only four were out today.

Malone said a number of regular workers and volunteers didn't show up this year to participate in the campaign.

People wishing to make donations have multiple options.

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Bell ringers will be stationed around the Farmington area through Saturday. They usually work through Christmas Eve but will stop a day early because Dec. 24 falls on a Sunday this year, according to Malone.

Checks can be dropped off at the Salvation Army building at 319 W. Broadway Ave. in Farmington. They can be dropped in the mail slot if the building is closed, or taken to the staff in the thrift store.

Checks can be mailed to the Salvation Army at P.O. Box 265, Farmington, N.M. 87401.

Electronic donations can be made by visiting RedKettleReason.org or by sending a text message with the word Kettles to 51555.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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