ATLANTA - The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta said Tuesday it has a "dire shortfall" of donations this holiday season, due in part to a shortage of bell ringers.
"We are $90,000 behind where we were this time last year," said Lt. Jeremy Mockabee with the Gwinnett County Salvation Army Corps.
Overall, metro Atlanta is tracking about $200,000 behind last year's pace.
The organization normally puts out anywhere from 300 to 400 red kettles at storefronts across the area, but the number is about half that this year.
"We just don't have the manpower that we've had in the past with workers coming out – seasonal workers – to come out and ring bells for us," Mockabee explained.
The Salvation Army uses a combination of seasonal workers and volunteers to fill their bell ringing slots, but both are down. With the clock winding down on the giving season, they hope people will pitch in to help.
"During these last five or six days here that we're pushing to the end, we're just asking people again, in the Atlanta area and Gwinnett County to really just dig a little bit deeper to help us out so that we can catch up as much as we can," Mockabee said.
To volunteer as a bell ringer this holiday season, contact your local Salvation Army Corps.