Jamestown's Salvation Army is asking for help in the last hours before Christmas Day arrives.
In a letter to The Post-Journal on Monday, Captain John Merchant said the Red Kettle campaign needs to raise $10,000 by tonight to reach their final goal.
Additionally, general donations are down by about $9,000, according to the letter.
Hunter Shilling, 9, rings the bell for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign on behalf of the Jamestown Fire Department with his father, Shawn Shilling (not pictured), at Tops on Foote Avenue on Monday night.
P-J photo by Katie Atkins
"We were 900 presents short just two days before distribution," Merchant said.
The Salvation Army was able to provide more than 1,400 children with gifts and more than 630 families with Christmas meals, and had help from the Chautauqua County Town and Village Highway Superintendents Association, which collected around 600 toys and donated $500 to the Red Kettle campaign.
Angel Trees also dotted local stores throughout the holiday season and were decorated with tags labeled with requested toys.
All of these efforts helped needy families, but more funds need to be raised.
"We really appreciate it when the public rallies behind us and makes dreams come true," Merchant said.
John LaBarbera of Bemus Point has been donating his time on and off for five years and rang the bell at Tops on Washington Street on Monday night.
Over the years, he said he has seen generosity on all levels.
"Even people who don't have two nickels to rub together give money," LaBarbera said. "I think people who have less money donate even more."
To ring the bell for the Salvation Army today, call 664-4108.
To donate online, visit onlineredkettle.org and type in Team Jamestown.
The Salvation Army operates a food pantry, a domestic abuse shelter, worship, casework, group work and visitation services.