Donations were down for the Salvation Army in Connecticut, so far this year.
The Salvation Army said about $1 million was raised for the Army's Southern New England division, which is roughly half of their goal. The Salvation Army said in Greater Hartford area, it usually raises $260,000. However, it has only raised $140,000 this year, so far.
Hartford mother Keli Laureano was among dozens of families in need picking up toys for their children in Hartford's North End Salvation Army office.
“I'm really happy and grateful that we got people who care and that donate,” Laureano said.
They walked away with two bags, but the Salvation Army said its donations are down about 16% compared to this time last year. It's impacting families, homeless and the hungry.
The drop in donations covers Rhode Island and Connecticut, officials said Greater Hartford's numbers were especially low.
Toys were bought to the Hartford's North End Salvation Army office from donations from the Greater Hartford Area. The Greater Hartford Area is where the Salvation Army told Eyewitness News it's struggled mightily this year down about 50 percent from where they'd like to be.
Major Roger Duperree said there are several reasons for the drop in donations.
“The snowstorm on Saturday, which is traditionally one of the best giving days of the year, that it certainly impacted it,” Duperree said.
Then, there's the fact we carry so little cash anymore.
While the Salvation Army has websites and ways to donate by text, they have been slow to catch on at least to the point of reaching a $2 million donation goal for the region.
“Donations do matter because a lot of people need the help,” Laureano said.
A spokesperson for the Salvation Army said there is still time to donate as bell ringers will be out between now and Christmas Eve collecting donations.
To donate to the Salvation Army, Text "GIVECT" to 71777 or click here.
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