Thieves nab two Salvation Army red kettles in Aurora

Michigan Salvation Army bell ringer puts on a show

"More bodies at kettle sites means we can raise more money, which ultimately means we can serve more families", Beth said.

"Our red kettle campaign goal is $120,000 this year, which is actually, we've reduced that, down from $150,000 last year, and that's why our struggle is such a surprise this year", Lt. Jeff Olson of the Manitowoc County Salvation Army said. "We are asking people to dig deep, our campaign only goes until Christmas Eve".

"This thief isn't robbing The Salvation Army", said Chapman.

Donations through the holiday help provide yearlong services including community meals, keeping food in the food pantry, camps for kids, utility assistance and more.

Maj. Beckie Stearns said the organization, as of Thursday evening, was at about $99,800 raised so far toward its $245,000 goal - less than half of the target, with only about two weeks left in the campaign.

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Chris Streck, corps officer with the Elizabethtown Salvation Army office, said they've had a slight increase in volunteers, but more opportunities to help remain.

"We are 18 percent ahead of a year ago", she said.

Stearns was prepared to open just five or six of her kettle locations on Saturday due to a lack of volunteers to ring the bells, despite having at least 20 kettle locations identified. Make checks payable to Nodaway County Salvation Army. "When they returned home from war, they were greeted by members of The Salvation Army and decided they wanted to be involved with the organization", Hargis said.

"I think as human beings we are created to give", he said. If you see someone with just the kettle, that's a red flag.

"We're run by volunteers", she said. "It's that special connection that we feel with our neighbor when we come together as a community and shed light and hope in lives that are dark and have lost hope".

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