Local charities banking on donations during the holidays to reach fundraising goals

Kids volunteer at Catholic Charities' North End Soup Kitchen. / Mike Horne

Local charities have just a couple of more weeks to reach their fundraising goals for the year.

Some are doing well despite the sluggish economy in Genesee County but many are banking on donations that come in the last few days of the year.

For nearly six years, Flint resident Gloria Barber has volunteered as a Red Kettle bell ringer for the Salvation Army of Genesee County.

The jolly volunteer, who can be seen regularly at the Grand Blanc Wal-mart, says every year the community seems to come through with donations.

"Some people do better than others. Some people really put in good money and I mean good money," said Barber

Despite those generous offerings, the Salvation Army of Genesee County is coming up short of it's nearly $840,000 goal for the year.

"Last year we ended the season with a lot of large donations the last week. We're just not sure if those are going to come, " said Capt. Jon Augenstein, Genesee County Coordinator.

The organization has until Christmas to come up with $300,000 to reach it's goal.

"It's a pretty intimidating goal to think that everyday we need to have large donations coming in. "

It's down to the wire for the Old Newsboys of Flint as well. They still need to raise $30,000 to reach their goal of $450,000.

Catholic Charities of Flint is partnering with Dort Federal Credit Union and NBC25 for a nearly month long food drive after seeing nearly 80% of it's budget cut.

"The idea is to bring in more food to be able to stack our shelves and then we don't have to buy so much food," said Catholic Charities Community Director Jon Manse.

As the year draws to a close the goals seem daunting for these charities.

"We're really going on faith that God is going to bless us with a good fundraising year," said Capt. Jon Augenstein.

Gloria Barber who has seen tough times pass says she's not worried.

"I believe people care about people."