By STEVE EIGHINGERHerald-Whig Staff Writer
The Quincy Salvation Army is extending its annual Tree of Lights Christmas campaign through the end of the January to reach its goal of $375,000.
The campaign had raised $358,199 through Monday, leaving it $16,801 short.
"It's not unusual to extend the campaign through January," said Patty Douglas, director of development for the local Salvation Army. "We've just been so fortunate that (for) many years here in Quincy, the campaign has wrapped up by the end of December. Most Salvation Armies keep their campaigns open through the end of January."
Donations to the campaign assist several Salvation Army causes, including Christmas food boxes, toys for children, delivery of gifts to nursing homes and shut-ins, and community holiday meals. The fund also supports year-round programs and services such as the emergency shelter, a food pantry, rent and utility assistance, disaster services, youth programs, summer camp and other activities.
"We're hoping the campaign wraps up before the end of the month," Douglas said. "We all know how generous this community is and always has been. We appreciate all of the donations."
Tax-deductible donations may be made by cash, check, Visa, MasterCard or debit card by calling 222-5762 or stopping by the Salvation Army offices in the Kroc Center, 405 Vermont.
The campaign raised $407,038 in 2011 and $349,000 in 2010.
A year ago, an eleventh-hour gift pushed the Salvation Army past its goal of $400,000 when it appeared the campaign might come up short for the first time.
"Not once has this community not allowed us to reach our goal in this campaign, and that is due to the people and the giving spirit of Quincy and this area," Douglas said.