Weather hurts Christmas charities - Dallas News |

Weather hurts Christmas charities

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Some charitable organizations that depend on holiday giving are facing major setbacks after a round of severe weather in North Texas.

The Salvation Army said the ice storm set its donation drive back about $184,000.

There have been fewer days with bell ringers out at stores due to a late Thanksgiving, and several days were lost because of the weather.

"We rely on the generosity of the giving public to help between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and right now, we're facing a huge shortfall," said Pat Patey with the Salvation Army.

To make up ground, more bell ringers are working at indoor locations, and there's been a push to get people to donate online at

This year's local Red Kettle campaign overall is down about $600,000.

Another charitable cause hard hit by severe weather was the cancellation of the holiday parade, benefitting the Children's Medical Center in Dallas.

Organizers say of 10,000 tickets sold, refunds have gone to half the purchasers. The other half chose to make it a donation.

Tickets ranged in price from $10 to $120.

The U.S. Marines with Toys for Tots are also feeling pressure. With seven days to go, they are less than halfway to their goal of 230,000 toys, which would help some 130 Metroplex organizations.

The group has experienced challenges weeks before the holiday season kicked off.

"In the beginning, it was the government shutdown, so we couldn't start right away," said Staff Sgt. David Green with Toys for Tots. "A lot of the events didn't happen. From there we went to weather. Those four days were supposed to be media weekend...and the media weekend contributes one fourth of our actual drive of toys and money."

Despite some big challenges, there's been a big push for donations in shopping centers and all around.

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