Christmas is past and the red kettles have been put away, but the Salvation Army still needs help from the Minot community.
The fund-raising drive to finance assistance in 2010 came up about $29,000 short, said Maj. Don Kincaid. As a result, the Salvation Army is extending the Christmas campaign drive that would have ended Dec. 31 to Jan. 15.
"I am not panicked yet because over the years, I have learned that there are some years that you get some late donations, and that could be what's happening," Kincaid said. "We are people of faith. We believe that the Lord will see that we have what we need for the current year."
However, he added that if the goal is not reached, the Salvation Army would have to consider reducing some of the assistance available in its programs.
"That would be a step we would not like to take," he said. "Then you have to set priorities, and this is really difficult."
The Salvation Army provides assistance with rent, prescriptions, utilities, transportation, food and shelter for people in emergency situations.
Kincaid said the fund-raising goal is based on anticipated needs in the coming year. Requests for help increased during 2009.
"This has been a year that we have been challenged, especially in our food pantry distributions. More and more people are coming to us for food and for rent assistance and utility assistance," he said.
The kettles and a mail campaign had raised about $136,000 of the $165,000 goal through Wednesday. Along with help from the United Way, the bulk of the Salvation Army's assistance budget comes from the holiday donations.
The kettle campaign exceeded expectations, raising more than $72,000, compared to about $55,000 last year. The shortfall has come in the mail appeal.
People who wish to donate can send contributions to the Salvation Army at P.O. Box 2109, Minot, N.D. 58702.