By JOSEPH DITS, South Bend Tribune
2:31 PM EST, December 24, 2012
As the bell-ringing and a new scavenger hunt for smart phones came to a close Monday, The Salvation Army was surpassing its goal for what it collected at the red kettles.
Its mail appeal still hasn’t met its goal, though it will continue well into January.
The nonprofit agency aims to raise a total of $340,000 for direct aid and programs that support the needy in St. Joseph County, including next year’s Christmas baskets.
Of that, the goal for the red kettles was $125,000, and $137,500 had been collected through Saturday, said Major Bob Webster. He didn’t yet have Sunday’s and Monday’s totals — and he noted that those last two days before Christmas tend to be the busiest for collections.
The mail appeal brings in the remainder, and Webster said he’s still “optimistic” that it can meet its goal. He’d said in mid-December that it was lagging behind. He didn’t have a tally on that so far Monday but added that the pace has picked up. There’s often a rush as people make donations by Dec. 31 so they can claim tax deductions for the current year.
The “Finding Christmas” scavenger hunt started in late November and ended Monday. Players used their smart phones to scan in QR codes at sites around the county to rack up points — mostly at bell-ringing stations. The game’s website is www.findingchristmas.org.
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