Nonprofits make final push for holiday donations

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nonprofits are making their last push for holiday donations to help their programs operate throughout the year.

Last year, the Salvation Army raised $950,000 through its Red Kettle drive. This year the nonprofit wants to raise $1 million by Christmas Eve.

"We're a little down in our kettles this year," the Salvation Army's Maj. John Chamness said.

Red Kettle contributions help cover costs for a wide range of programs "from after-school programs to the feeding programs to the homeless programs that the Salvation Army offers," he said. "We really depend on our community to help us to meet those needs."

Helping Hands Hawaii began notifying financial donors of its Christmas needs months ago through online postings and emails. Its donor base grew from 220 individuals and groups to 270.

"We want to create an environment where donors are aware of what Helping Hands Hawaii is up to all throughout the year," said James Li, of the nonprofit.

Meanwhile, Aloha United Way chief Operating Officer Norm Baker said giving to nonprofits follows the ups and downs of the economy.

"Our campaign this year is running a little bit ahead. We're about $200,000 ahead of where we were last year," he said. "So we have our fingers crossed that this campaign will be significantly better than last year's."

On Tuesday, volunteers and staffers at The Salvation Army's Vineyard Boulevard building handed out gift bags as part of the Angel Tree distribution.

"Here at Christmas time we're providing 14,000 toys to kids across the state to make sure that when kids wake up on Christmas morning they have that toy under the tree," Chamness said.

With just a few days to go until Christmas more bell ringers are needed for Red Kettle locations.

"When you see one of our Red Kettles please don't pass it by. Stop and put some money in that kettle because it really does make a difference," Chamness said.

If you can volunteer, call the Salvation Army at 988-2136 or click here.

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