Whether it's the struggling economy or the shortened campaign, donations to this year's local Salvation Army Kettle Drive fell short of the goal and short of last year's totals.

Whether it's the struggling economy or the shortened campaign, donations to this year's local Salvation Army Kettle Drive fell short of the goal and short of last year's totals.
Chuck Cook, administrator of Pittsburg's Salvation Army, said Friday that the organization raised approximately $43,700 this year during a campaign that ran from the Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. The goal for this year was $50,000. Last year's totals reached approximately $47,000, Cook said.
The campaign was shortened from five to four weeks this year "because of the way the calendar fell." Couple that with a national economy facing serious problems and donations weren't quite what the Salvation Army was hoping for.
"But you know, considering everything we went through this year, falling a little short isn't the worst thing that could happen," he said.
The Salvation Army's overall goal for this year is $112,000, and despite the lull in Kettle Drive funds, Cook said that goal is attainable.
"I hate to call it before it's over and we just may make it," he said. "You never know. We probably won't know until about Jan. 15 how much we raised overall. We may get to our goal through other gifts."
Cook said he is not upset about the Kettle Drive missing its goal because a goal, in the end, is just a number.
"A goal is just a mark you set in the sand and there are no guarantees that it is going to happen," he said. "There is only so much you can raise in a town of our size, and it's not like we are the only ones asking (for donations)."
If the overall goal is not met, Cook said the organization would have to cut items out of its budget. That does not mean, however, that the traditional services offered would be eliminated. Cook said The Salvation Army will still be able to provide assistance to those in need.
"We're going to do what we planned to do and we're going to continue on as long as we can continue on and do the best job we can with the money and resources we have," he said. "When we exhaust those, we'll try to find other avenues to help.
"What we might have to do is just cut some of our budget stuff back," he said. "You can hold your feet to the fire on a budget. There are things you have to do and things you'd like to do. You just have to look at the things that you have to do and get those things accomplished. Then you look at what you'd like to do. But I don't foresee any changes in the services we offer."