Red Kettle donations fall short in Kingsport

Salvation Army kettles

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - You probably haven't heard the sound of a Salvation Army bell ringer in a few days, which means the pot has been counted. After a month of hard work, the Kingsport Salvation Army is still in the red.

"At the end, in Kingsport, we're about $1,700 to $1,800 behind our goal," said Major Anthony Baso.

Baso told us they hoped to raise $120,000 this year but only got up to $118,300. "We knew it was going to be difficult this year because we had about five days less than we had in 2012," he said.

The late Thanksgiving holiday set them behind, but Baso told us they were prepared for that. "We cut our goal down by $14,000 dollars to make that accomadation," he said.

Baso told us the Bristol and Johnson City Salvation Army locations also lowered their goals.

This year in Kingsport, the need is higher than ever, said Baso. "We're seeing the full community for lunch and dinner whereas before we were serving just the lunch to the entire community," he said.

People who relied on evening meals at Kingsport's Kitchen of Hope are now coming to the Salvation Army after plumbing issues closed them down a couple of months ago.

We're told the Kingsport Salvation Army serves between 8,500 and 10,000 meals every month. They are open 24 hours, every day of the year.

Baso said they've already had to cut back on what they can give because of the increase in need. "It's not going to be as big of a meal as we're used to having," he said. "Maybe it's going to be more sandwiches, more soup."

Baso told us there is still time to help them reach their goal. You can donate to the Red Kettle Campaign through the rest of the year.

The Kingsport Salvation Army will be open on Monday from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. and on New Years Eve from 9 a.m. until noon.

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