(KFYI News) The Salvation Army says fewer donations are being made in their red kettles this holiday season compared to last year.

Last year, Valley residents donated $1.86 million in those famous kettles that are often found by popular stores and malls, but this year's donations are down by 36 percent.  Donations stay within the community where the money is donated to help families in need with food, shelter and Christmas gifts for kids.

They are attributing the lower number of donations to Thanksgiving coming late this year, making their kettle season five days shorter.

“I am concerned about the lost kettle days this year and how this will impact our ability to help those who are hurting. The red kettles are a symbol of giving and represent a tradition of caring that is passed down from generation to generation. We’re hoping that shoppers will remember their neighbors in need when they see a Salvation Army bell ringer in the community during the coming three weeks and be as generous as they can to help,” said Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Joe Posillico.

To donate online, visit www.salvationarmyphoenix.org