COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - "When you stand here on this corner on this beautiful day, we are blessed to be in this neighborhood but it's not far from here that there's great need," said Steve Wheeler.
And just like in years past, the Salvation Army needs help.
"We're a little behind last year," said Major Dan Proctor.
Major Proctor, with the Salvation Army in Naples, said this year donations are down, along with the number of volunteers. He said part of the blame falls on the calendar.
"Once every 10 years or so, the calendar puts Thanksgiving late in the year. This year it's 5 days later than it was last year. And so what that means is for us, there are certain locations that let us ring bells, that will not let us in until after Thanksgiving," said Major Proctor.
The money raised from the organization's Red Kettle campaign goes to different programs. Compared to last year at this time, the Salvation Army is more than $21,000 short of its $350,000 goal. And this year there's an even bigger responsibility: taking over the Toys for Tots campaign, after the Marine Corps League of Naples lost the privilege due to an investigation into mishandled money. So to make up for less money and less volunteers, they'll ring a little longer.
"Last year we had 33 days of bell ringing, this year, we'll have 34. That will help a little bit in making that up. But we'll see where it all ends up on December 24."
The Collier County chapter isn't the only chapter hurting this year. With 13 days left to ring, the Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties has reached just 45.5% of its goal of $650,000.