NEW HARTFORD- The Salvation Army Bell ringers are out ringing those bells, but donations are coming in much lower than expected.
When Sheriff Robert Maciol was chosen to be the Chairman of the Red Kettle campaign back in November, he didn’t expect donation volume to be this low.
“We are substantially behind where we were one year ago today, Christmas is just a few short weeks away, we're closing in on the holiday season and we're about $20,000 behind where we were one year ago.” Said Sheriff Maciol
Online shopping isn’t helping the situation either. As more people every year take their shopping online, it draws less people to the department stores.
Rome Shoppers like Deane Martin of Rome, were surprised at the lack of donations.
"I think it’s terrible because people do not give.” Said Deane Martin
Some shoppers are also paying strictly with cards and not carrying cash with them as they shop.
"They have debit cards or they have credit cards and the Salvation Army can’t take either one.”
“It's a crucial time of the year for the Salvation Army, so as this year’s honorary chair of the Red Kettle Campaign anything you can do please, we ask that you can do all that you can.”
If you do find yourself shopping without cash or change but you still want to donate, Sheriff Maciol says there are other ways of donating.
“You can certainly make direct donations to the Salvation Army in any form certainly the bell ringers, they're the ones collecting the cash and the whole purpose of them outside of the stores is for folks to drop off their change and what not. Whatever they may have a few dollars they may have left over from their purchases.”
Any donation no matter what the amount this holiday season is greatly appreciated by the Salvation Army.
Bell ringers will be outside of department stores and shopping centers throughout this holiday season.