The Prairie region has only met two-thirds of its goal set by The Salvation Army for the annual Christmas Kettle Campaign.
There is a $1.5-million goal for the combined provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan — as of Dec. 20, they have $965,000.
The Salvation Army’s communications and marketing co-ordinator, Jonathan Hamel, says the shortage won’t lessen the level of commitment to the people they serve in Manitoba, or around the world.
"The Salvation Army will do whatever it can to make sure nobody is negatively affected and we really appreciate the support in that," he said.
As of Dec. 18, nationally, the Salvation Army was $7 million short of its $21-million goal.
He said there’s no real explantation for the shortage of donations, but said people may not realize how much their pocket change can help.
"There are more demands on people at this time of the year and people may be re-assessing their finances," he said. "We ask that people reach a little bit deeper. No matter how small the gift is, every one of these gifts makes a difference in the lives of the people we support."
According to its website, The Salvation Army provides more than 400,000 meals, shelter for 400 people, and gifts and hampers for families and children in Manitoba at Christmas every year.
Hamel said one thing they are always grateful for are the volunteers who stand by the kettles.
In Brandon, volunteers are still needed for all shifts at all locations to man the kettles until Christmas Eve. The shifts are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 2 p.m.to 5 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Those interested in volunteering can call 204-727-4334.
Donations can be made in person to kettle balls by Christmas Eve or online at fillthekettle.com and by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY by Dec. 31 to receive a tax receipt.