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The Waukesha Salvation Army met its 2016 Red Kettle campaign goal, but awaits the arrival of additional checks in its concurrent direct mail appeal, according to a news release from the organization.

Together, the goal of the two year-end fundraising drives is $700,000.

“We’re very appreciative that the people of Waukesha County gave generously to our 50 countywide Red Kettles, especially in the last campaign week just before Christmas,” Major Nelson De La Vergne said.

While final numbers are still being determined, roughly $430,000 was raised in the seven weeks of bell ringing.

The direct mail Christmas appeal was plagued in 2016 by problems and confusion with the charity’s direct mail vendor. About $150,000 in funds still needs to be raised.

The goal of the organization’s simultaneous year-end direct mail campaign is $300,000, according to De La Vergne, and that effort doesn’t close until the end of January.

"We hope that additional interested donors will either drop off or mail in a check by that time,” De La Vergne said according to the news release.

The Waukesha Salvation Army operates a large food pantry, serves free, hot community meals three evenings every week, runs the largest shelter for homeless men in the county, operates its “Feed the Kids” program for children in low-income neighborhoods during the summer, provides food kits to low-income families to alleviate weekend hunger, offers varied programs for those in need of help with utilities, rent, prescriptions, personal hygiene items, or those who need help in retraining life skills or help with work searches.

The Salvation Army of Waukesha also stocks a free Bread Room, that in 2015 alone gave away over 18,000 loaves. Additionally, the charity offers a range of after-school youth ministries such as music lessons, art lessons, character building, as well as summer day camp opportunities.

“Many are unaware of just how much poverty exists in Waukesha County, and some don’t realize the significant number of individuals and families who are living right on life’s edge every single day,” said De La Vergne.

The Salvation Army of Waukesha was founded in March of 1894, and is headquartered at 445 Madison St.

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