The bells are ringing, but the Salvation Army's red kettles locally haven't collected as much jingle as officials of the charity had hoped.
Fort Wayne area donations to the annual holiday fundraiser are running about 20 percent behind where they should be at this point of the season, Capt. Luis Acosta, the Army's pastor-administrator reported today.
Bell-ringers usually gather half of the charity's goal by now, he said, but just under 30 percent of the $255,000 has been received this year.
While he's not sure what's causing the shortfall, Acosta said it might be related to the fact that the agency hasn't been able to recruit enough bell-ringers to staff the 48 Fort Wayne area red-kettle locations.
And that's even though the Salvation Army will pay some ringers for their fund-raising efforts -- $7.75 an hour for up to 40 hours a week, Acosta said.
Other ringers volunteer their time, with groups from businesses, churches and families often ringing together, he said.