This week is the Salvation Army's final push to raise donations through its crucial Red Kettle campaign.
The organization says it's in a state of emergency as bitter cold temperatures have limited donations this year.
On Monday night, the Salvation Army held a benefit concert at the Wisconsin Club to help meet its $4 million goal. So far, the campaign has only raised about $1.8 million.
The Red Kettle Christmas Spectacular began last year as a vision from a local musician wanting to give back.
"For me, the holidays and Christmas, the best thing about it is giving it's not what you get it's what you give," said Joseph Ketchum, who organized the concert. "And what I do I'm a violinist and a musician so if I can help by giving my music to people that's what I enjoy."
The Salvation Army says it believes the cold temperatures have limited donations as bell ringers can't stand outside as often and people walk quickly into the store without stopping.
Major Steven Merritt is the divisional commander for the Wisconsin and Upper Michigan division of the Salvation Army. He says on any given night, the Salvation Army provides shelter to 200 people in the Milwaukee area and the organization is currently supporting 8,000 families this Christmas season with toys and food.
If they don't reach their $4 million goal by the end of the year, they may have to cut services next year.
"We'd have to take a look at all of our programs, the ministries we're providing and then decide what we would have to possibly cut," said Merritt. "It's not the desire that the Salvation Army would not meet the needs of the community."
The Salvation Army says the red kettles will be out through noon on Christmas Eve.
You can also mail check donations to:
The Salvation Army
11315 W. Watertown Plank Road
Wauwatosa, WI 53226
And you can Text “CASH” to 41444 to make a donation or make it online by clicking here.
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