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      Red Kettle campaigns falling short

      'Tis the season for hundreds of bell-ringers at every corner of the Tri-States.

      They're promoting the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign for less fortunate families.

      This year, many Salvation Army chapters are reporting some of their lowest donations, including sites throughout Macomb. This year's goal for the McDonough County Salvation Army is $60,000. At this point, the organization is not even halfway there.

      "We ran out of funds in August of 2011, so for the last few months we haven't been able to help anybody. We're having so many new cases, it's heartbreaking to tell people, 'I'm sorry, we're just not able to help you with your rent.' And what do we do now? I don't know," said Owen Thompson, the McDonough County Salvation Army Captain. "It puts people in a desperate situation. If they can't pay their rent and they're kicked out, then they're in a car."

      Boy Scout Troop 330 is just one organization stepping up to help the Salvation Army reach its goal.

      "I'm out here today because I like to help the community give back and I think it's great to volunteer for anything and the Salvation Army does a lot of good work in your community. I think it's just nice to be able to come out here and help those that are less fortunate," said Grant Brown.

      The Salvation Army still is looking for volunteers to ring bells or help with its other holiday programs.

      *By Chrissy Mueller