BERWICK, Pa. -- We are in the final days before Santa comes down the chimney, and the Salvation Army is in crunch mode.
The nonprofit organization says red kettle donations are behind, making it that much harder to spread Christmas cheer.
For 20 years, Marqueen Naugle has been ringing that Salvation Army bell around Columbia County. The elderly woman, 85 years old, tells Newswatch 16 she comes out every day to help families in need.
"I just like people," said Naugle. "I just feel like it is what the Lord wants me to do."
At the Berwick Salvation Army Corps just a few miles down the road, Maj. Sheryl Hershey says dedication is needed.
The nonprofit organization says kettle donations are falling about 40 percent short of the overall goal.
"(With) our economy, people are not spending as much money and so when it comes to donating, they donate once or twice, but when we are out for 24 days it becomes a bit more taking on them," said Maj. Hershey.
Officials at the Salvation Army say donations that are put into red kettles not only provide toys for Christmas but also help feed families all year long.
"It also gets us through the year to help with our food pantry soup kitchen, our food bank. It helps us with our utility bills when people come in and need help with heat."
Courtney Kurtz says a simple drop in the red kettle made all the difference for her family's Christmas.
"If it wasn't for the Salvation Army, I do not think my kids would have had a Christmas. They are the main Christmas givers in the house this year."
The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign continues through Christmas Eve.