The Salvation Army of Dane County reported Monday they are $250,000 behind their annual Red Kettle Campaign goal of $700,000.

Volunteer ringers will turn in their bells tomorrow night, the organization has until January to raise the money.

Danny Kessler was out pushing for donations at Miller and Sons Grocery in Verona. Kessler became a golden bell ringer since this was his twelfth time ringing this season. It was his fifth year volunteering.

"There was a guy that stopped by one time, said something about when he was in the Korean War the Salvation Army was a big help. So I just kind of have the feeling there that it's a big help for everybody," said Kessler.

Kessler, a dedicated volunteer, even brought his own set of bells from home and for fun counted the number of donors.

Even with volunteers as joyful as Kessler, Major Loren Carter, the Dane County coordinator with the Salvation Army, said they still have a large amount of money to raise. Maj. Carter said the thought makes him nervous but he hopes they can make up the difference.

"It has been difficult. I think the economy, many people are having a very difficult time," said Maj. Carter when asked why he thought donations were down.

Carter added they are asking for more donations to keep up with stable or decreasing government contracts, as well as inflation.

The money people drop in the kettles go toward social service programs including a shelter or food pantry, but if the money is not there Carter said their clients will hurt tremendously. Last year, Carter said they served more than 400,000 meals.

Donations can be made to any red kettle at a local grocery or mall. You can also make a gift online at If you would like to make a $10 donation you can do so by texting 'TEN' to 85944.