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While the toy program fills an immediate need for families, the Welches have focused on providing services that assist families in breaking a cycle of dependence.

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Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Leather Ox Shoes

The Red Kettle and Empty Stocking are separate fundraisers, but all donations go to the Salvation Army for its community outreach programs.

As Salvation Army corps office directors for Okaloosa and Walton counties, the couple felt confident after seeing the Red Kettle drive open with big donations.

"A lot of the people who come to us do have jobs," Chris Welch said.

As Salvation Army corps office directors for Okaloosa and Walton counties, the couple felt confident after seeing the Red Kettle drive open with big donations.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Welch said, "we had one spot at the Crestview Publix that brought in over $800, and it was not all big bills."

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Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Leather Ox Shoes

"We're working on the life skill changes," he said. "We pay the bill, but we're also trying to help them think and be proactive about their situation."

One possible reason for the lower donation level could be the late Thanksgiving date this year. Last year's Empty Stocking Fund kicked off six days earlier than this year's. The campaign traditionally runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas, although donations continue to Converse Black Womens Sneakers

arrive through New Year's Day.

More than halfway into this year's Empty Stocking Fund drive, the staff of the Salvation Army sees less money coming in than a year ago. The Red Kettle drive is also below target compared to 2012.

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Beginning next year, the Welches hope to offer tours of their facility to potential volunteers and donors. Anyone, they said, can participate in the Behind the Red Shield tours, which will be offered once a month.

"The other day we had a $1,000 check in there," Lt. Chris Welch said of the Empty Stocking Fund. "The closer we get to Christmas, hopefully the more we see those checks in there."

Despite the slow start for both campaigns, neither Welch nor his wife, Lt. Jessica Welch, feels discouraged.

One possible reason for the lower donation level could be the late Thanksgiving date this year. Last year's Empty Stocking Fund kicked off six days earlier than this year's. The campaign traditionally runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas, although donations continue to arrive through New Year's Day.

"The other day we had a $1,000 check in there," Lt. Chris Welch said of the Empty Stocking Fund. "The closer we get to Christmas, hopefully the more we see those checks in there."

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The tours also will Converse Womens White Tennis Shoes

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"Maybe they're seasonal (employees), and they've had their hours cut," Chris Welch added.

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Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Leather Ox Shoes

Despite the slow start for both campaigns, neither Welch nor his wife, Lt. Jessica Welch, feels discouraged.

The couple has seen success in the Salvation Army's toy drive, which provides Christmas gifts for 860 children whose families registered them earlier in the fall. Each child will receive five toys chosen by parents or grandparents through the mock toy store.

The Red Kettle and Empty Stocking are separate fundraisers, but all donations go to the Salvation Army for its community outreach programs.

´╗┐Fund drive for local organization off to slow start

The toy store concept was launched last year. Jessica Welch felt that parents could choose the gifts Converse Womens Shoes Sale

One requirement for financial assistance is proof that the person in need will Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Leather Ox Shoes be able to pay a power or rent bill in the following month.

"That's something the community can be a part of," Jessica Welch said.

Red Kettle donations also are down. In 2012, the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign raised $172,000 in Okaloosa and Walton counties, according to a news release provided by Welch. This year, donations are down by 40 percent.

that their children want rather than receive a sack of toys.

Red Kettle donations also are down. In 2012, the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign raised $172,000 in Okaloosa and Walton counties, according to a news release provided by Welch. This year, donations are down by 40 percent.

Volunteers accompany the parents, and the Salvation Army serves the families hot chocolate and cookies as they await their shopping turn.

allow donors an opportunity to better understand how the Empty Stocking Fund is administered. The fund provides temporary relief for people who face financial disaster in the form of rent or utility assistance.

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More than halfway into this year's Empty Stocking Fund drive, the staff of the Salvation Army sees less money coming in than a year ago. The Red Kettle drive is also below target compared to 2012.

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