The leaders of many Salvation Army centers in Iowa are reporting deep declines in donations this holiday season at Red Kettle locations.

Newton Salvation Army Captain Janelle Cleaveland says finding volunteers to serve as Red Kettle bell ringers has been difficult – especially on weekdays. Red Kettles are posted at just a few locations around Newton. “There are six spots and we normally ask people to volunteer for two hours. People can do one hour,” Cleaveland said.

The lack of volunteers, according to Cleaveland, has the annual fundraising campaign a long way from a goal of $33,000 – with just one week to go. “We’re only at 50-percent,” Cleaveland said. “So, we still have about $15,000 or $16,000 left towards our goal.” The Red Kettle campaign in Newton and most other Iowa cities will end on December 23.

In Council Bluffs/Omaha, the Salvation Army’s Jeff Beckman says Red Kettle donations are down just eight-percent this year over last. He credits a decrease in traffic at shopping centers. “Although I didn’t want to admit this the last couple of years, this year I think online shopping is beginning to impact the number of people who are out in the stores,” Beckman said.

Officials with the Salvation Army in Des Moines reported this week their Red Kettle campaign has raised around half of its $950,000 goal.

Thanks to Randy Van, KCOB, Newton & Karla James in Omaha