MASON CITY, Iowa - Captain Kenyon Sivels of the Salvation Army says the organization needs to raise $97,000 in its red kettle campaign. Earlier this week, the army was only at half that amount. There are reasons for the donation downturn.
"ShopKo leaving town really hurt us, but beyond that we've seen a lower response from volunteers and we do not hang buckets at locations where there is not someone signed up to ring," he said.
Across town at Fairway, bell ringers from the Mason City Community School District were chiming those distinctive bells.
Heidi Venem says things have been brisk so far at their location.
"We’ve been ringing the bell for about a half an hour now and it's been very busy. i think we've been very surprised by how generous people are tonight," said Venem.
Venem and her crew have their own theory as to why people might be donating less this year.
"We wondered if people, you know they use the cards so much more than they do have cash in their pockets, so we wondered if maybe that could be one of the reasons why," she said.
Even though the overall campaign has been slow, the Salvation Army had a few generous and unusual donations this year.
"We’ve had a few hundred dollar bills. But in terms of coins, the most crazy is, one site had quite a few half dollars in it. They’re not as typical as your quarters and your dimes, etcetera," said Sivels.