Tree of Lights donations down $50,000 from last year

Omaha, NE – Donations to the Salvation Army's Tree of Lights campaign are down $50,000 from this time last year.

The 2010 campaign ends December 24th. Salvation Army of Omaha spokeswoman Susan Eustice says donations to the red kettles are down significantly, reflecting a national trend. This year's goal is $3.1 million. She says the economy is hurting donations at the same time the Salvation Army is providing services to more people and families in need.

Donations to the Tree of Lights campaign fund 25 programs and services, including Winter Night Watch and Christmas assistance. Eustice says program cuts might be necessary if the Tree of Lights campaign falls short of its goal.

About two thousand more volunteer bell ringers are also needed. Eustice says last year, 5,000 volunteers rang bells during the campaign.