Red Kettle donations are ahead of '08 pace


POSTED: Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The spirit of giving rings through Hawaii despite the bleak economy.

The Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign is ahead by almost 5 percent over last year. The campaign has collected $750,000 so far this year compared to $716,000 at this time last year.

“;It's very encouraging for us to know that people are still very generous with their donations despite the tough economic times that everybody is having right now,”; said spokesman Daniel de Castro. “;It's a testament to the generosity of the Hawaii people.”;

Through the end of last year, donations grossed more than $800,000 from more than 120 red kettles throughout the state.

De Castro said the organization hopes to top that figure by Christmas Eve, the last day of the Red Kettle campaign.

“;That will go a long way,”; he added, noting that need has increased, with more families seeking assistance from the Salvation Army.

“;People of Hawaii are responding to that. They are giving a little bit more even though some of them are affected by the loss of jobs and the overall downturn of the economy.”;

Donations go toward various programs within the Salvation Army to help Hawaii families with gifts for the holiday season, basic needs, shelter, food and clothing.