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For just $1, you can make a difference

Do you have $1 to spare? That's all it will take to make a difference in someone's life this year.

All you have to do is drop that dollar into any Salvation Army Red Kettle this holiday season. You'll see them throughout the region this month.

The Salvation Army says its Red Kettle donations are down this year by nearly 33 percent. The group is trying to raise $773,000 to fund its Christmas season gift and food program, and pay for its year-round services to poor and low-income people in our cities.

Salvation Army Major Don Gilger says that so far only $225,000 has been raised through the Red Kettle donations. If that trend continues, the Salvation Army could be left out in the fundraising cold.

This year's sour economy is the leading culprit in the group's drop in funds, Gilger says. People are still dropping their change into the Red Kettles, he says, but they're just giving a little bit less than in the past.

Don't think that will curtail the Salvation Army's services. Gilger says the group will still get its gift and food baskets to families in need. It also will still provide year-round services for others, he says, even though it will be tough without adequate funding.

The reality is this: The Salvation Army needs about $1 from every person who lives in the metro area, including those of us here in East County.

Gilger and other Salvation Army officials expect to see 'some amazing things' this Christmas season.

We agree. Those amazing things this Christmas season come with a small price tag: just $1.