The Salvation Army Indiana said Tuesday that it fell just short of raising $3 million in its annual Tree of Lights campaign.
Development Director Jeff Stanger said the central Indiana organization came up short by $186,000 partly because the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti diverted the staff's attention from the fund-raising effort. The Tree of Lights campaign usually runs from mid-November through Jan. 31.
“We knew that this might keep us from reaching our Tree of Lights goal, but the people of Haiti are in desperate need of assistance, and our efforts needed to shift there,” Stanger said.
Salvation Army set a record-high fund-raising goal for 2009 because of increased demand during the recession. The organization said it served 37,000 people in central Indiana in 2008, and last year saw demand increase by 11 percent.
Falling short of the fund-raising goal will mean budget gaps for Indianapolis programs, such as the Women and Children's Shelter, Stanger said. His office is continuing to try to raise the money.