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Warm Weather Puts a Damper on Christmas Donations

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RALEIGH — It's hard to say "ho, ho, ho" and get into the holiday spirit when it's warm outside, and that's turning some of us into scrooges.

The Salvation Army relies on the generosity of holiday shoppers to fill their red kettles with spare change.

But they're coming up short this year, and they suspect the warm weather has put a damper on donations.

Volunteers are making their best pitch for donations from holiday shoppers. But it's a tough sell when Santa's helpers are wearing shorts.

Shoppers have dropped more than $20,000 worth of change in Salvation Army kettles this year. But that's nine percent less than they had hoped for.

"It's not much to the average person but if you carry that nine percent weekly, over a month's time it'll really put a pretty large dent in what we're trying to raise," says Ashley Delamar, of the Salvation Army.

There are more kettles in more locations around the Triangle than ever before. And volunteers say the stores they're staffing are busy. They're hoping more shoppers will get into the giving spirit soon.

"We'd love to see them donate money, try to contribute to the Salvation Army," Volunteer Bryan Mohorn says. "It's a great organization. We'd like to see them help out as much as possible."

The Salvation Army has already spent $97,000 on toys and food vouchers for 1,200 local families. If donations don't pick up soon, they will not collect enough to cover it.

Volunteers hope Mother Nature will help them out and "nip us with a good cold one because that's what helps. Christmas is to be cuddled up and bundled up in big coats and running from the car to the shopping center to stay warm," Delamar says.

The Salvation Army will be collecting donations until Christmas Eve.