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Salvation Army still needs more than $600,000 in donations this season

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- The National Retail Federation estimates millions more will be spent this holiday season compared to last. However, our local charities are seeing trends on the opposite end of that spectrum.

Major Scott Shelbourn said the Salvation Army's Make A Difference campaign has rung in nearly $156,313 so far this year. That is still more than $600,000 away from their goal. Major Shelbourn said the donations directly benefit the organization by sustaining operational costs.

"People need to know how much they’re helping people through a donation to the Salvation Army," said Major Shelbourn. "Without those donations , we can’t help as many people. And that’s a lot of people that we’ve helped stay off the streets and keep in their own dwellings."

Major Shelbourn said their Red Kettle Campaign brings in more than 50% of total donations to the Make A Difference campaign. He said their goal is to reach $825,000 by the end of Janurary 2020.

On Monday December 2, one of the Salvation Army's bell ringers -- Greg FitzPatrick -- played the trumpet outside of the Hyvee on Kimberly Road in Davenport.

"This really helps - getting the bigger donations,"said FitzPatrick as he played familiar songs like "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and "It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas." He said he has seen a decline in donors this season and hopes his music gets more people in the giving spirit.

"Giving’s a little bit different than it has been in the past," said Major Shelbourn. "Donors are being more cautious and very focused on how they're giving now. Where in generations past, people gave freely to all charities."

According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 165.3 million people likely to shop Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. In an annual report, NRP predicts sales to increase between 3.8 % - 4.2 % compared to 2018. Thus, bringing the total between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion.

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