Salvation Army kettle donations down 22%

At grocery stores and public corners around the Commonwealth, fewer people are reaching into their pockets and giving to those festively dressed volunteers ringing the old, familiar bells of the Salvation Army.

Five weeks into its annual Christmas red kettle drive, the Massachusetts division of The Salvation Army has collected less than $1.2 million, down 22 percent from last year and well short of the $3.4 million it collected in 2010, said Trish Raines, a regional spokeswoman for the charity.

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