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Ringing the Bell for Salvation Army

With 24 hours to go, area Salvation Army 16 percent short of its fundraising goal.

The iconic red kettle that’s made The Salvation Army a Christmastime fixture is not as full this year as local officials had hoped. 

Those bell ringers at the entrances of supermarkets and malls have 24 more hours to raise an entire year’s worth of funding for programs at the . 

“Every little bit counts,” Salvation Army Captain Richard Sanchez said. “When I used to ring at Port Authority, I’d say, ‘Pennies, dimes, nickels, quarters.’”

It all adds up, Sanchez said.

This year’s goal for the East Northport location – which serves greater Huntington, Northport and Commack – is $85,000. As of Thursday, the organization had raised $71,000, or 84 percent of the total. Sanchez said that’s actually $3,000 ahead of the same point a year ago, but still short of the goal.

The funding goes to run a food pantry, outreach, community center and youth services such as basketball. Its and clothes to 314 needy area families on Wednesday.  

“It’s vitally important,” people give, Sanchez stressed. “This is the life blood we run on throughout the year. We have other programs and means of fundraising that we do throughout the year, but they’re not as big as this one." 

A steady stream of dollars and coins filled the kettle outside in Northport Friday afternoon as Salvation Army volunteer Fran Felpo, of Kings Park, rang the bell and showed off a warm smile.

“Give with your heart,” Felpo said. “It’s the best organization for giving back to people.”

You can find Salvation Army volunteers at the and 29 other shopping plazas throughout Huntington, Northport and Commack. They’ll be taking donations until 4 p.m. Saturday.

“If we fall short, we have to work that much harder with the other programs that we are doing,” Sanchez said.

There’s just 24 hours left before the ringing stops.

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