Published: Dec 21, 2012 4:02 PM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Salvation Army issued a desperate plea to the public for donations today. With only three days left to ring the bells (including today), The Salvation Army has only reached 63 percent of its $720,000 goal – the charity must raise nearly $90,000 each day to meet that goal. It is critical that funds be raised to meet the increasing needs of food and shelter for homeless families in the community.

Requests for help with basic needs is up – food, clothing, and a safe place to sleep. For 62 years, The Salvation Army has been committed to provide these vital services, and needs the community’s support to make it happen.

The goal of $720,000 was set with these increased needs in mind. In particular, the need for emergency shelter for homeless families is on the rise, and since The Salvation Army is the only place for them to go, the organization has stretched its budget to help these families. The increased need in this program alone has added over $100,000 to a budget already spread thin.

The Salvation Army says that more than 91 cents of every dollar raised goes to direct services to individuals, and the charity anticipates that number to reach 95 cents after its recent fiscal year is audited.

“It’s not an overstatement to say that The Salvation Army is in a critical spot right now,” said Major Tom Louden, Area Commander for The Salvation Army. “If the needed funds aren’t raised by the end of the year, The Salvation Army will be in the impossible situation of cutting essential services to the community just at the time they’re needed the most. If you’ve ever thought about giving to The Salvation Army, the time is now.”