Salvation Army says monetary, toy donations down this season

GERMANTOWN (WITI) -- During the season of giving, one organization says it seems people just aren't. A toy drive in Germantown Saturday, December 7th turned out to be a dud.

The Salvation Army teamed up with Wal-Mart for its annual Fill the Truck toy drive -- part of a nation-wide effort taking place between now and December 15th. The event encourages shoppers to donate new, unwrapped toys to children in need.

"Last year we gave out 70,000 toys. This year we're looking at 100,000 toys that we would need to give out," said Marcy Stutzman, Salvation Army Special Events Director.

Monetary donations to the organization's red kettle campaign have also been slow this season. The Milwaukee County chapter is hoping to raise $3.5 million this year.

"Right now we are about $60,000 down from where we were at this time last year," said Stutzman.

The charity will likely extend the red kettle season through the end of January to make up for the current lull in funds.

Volunteers are trying to stay positive, handing out lists of toy donation suggestions to shoppers and noting that there are still a few weeks left to donate.

"It's a lesson to help others. No matter what is going on in your life, help others," said Brian Crawford.

The Salvation Army says the decline in donations could be due to Thanksgiving falling closer to December this year, leaving a shorter period for shoppers between Thanksgiving and Christmas.