GALVESTON, Texas (KIAH) — They were set to kick off their biggest fundraiser of the year on November 19, but Mother Nature had other plans.

The Salvation Army in Galveston County planned to begin this year’s Red Kettle campaign in conjunction with Santa’s arrival at nearby Moody Gardens.

Unfortunately, Santa had to cancel his traditional skydive and parachute landing at the tourist attraction because of bad weather.

The lost day of fundraising was partially to blame for Salvation Army Galveston County being behind on reaching its $250,000 goal — until this past weekend.

“We’ve had a donor come forward to sponsor a kettle,” Community Relations and Development Manager Holly McDonald said. “He did a $10,000 matching grant, and somebody matched it over the weekend. So, we had a really, really good weekend.”

Now the charity is slightly ahead of last year’s fundraising pace, and they hope the momentum continues despite a lack of manpower.

“We have limited (red kettle) locations this year, because we have limited bell ringers,” McDonald said. “But the volunteers that come on our side are really helping to keep the kettles going.”

Salvation Army Galveston County is able to operate 13 red kettle locations this year with bell ringers manning them from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday until Christmas Eve.

If they’re successful in reaching their fundraising goal, the money will make up one-tenth of the charity’s budget for all of next year.

They use it to fund a number of initiatives including a shelter housing 90 people nightly and the Boys and Girls Club in Texas City serving 43 kids — both all-time highs for the group.

“We’re growing. The needs are growing,” McDonald said. “It’s been an incredible year with people recovering from COVID and all that.”

That’s why she urges anyone who’s able to, to donate at red kettle locations — or online.

“We appreciate the support we get from Galveston County,” McDonald said. “It’s such an incredibly generous place. It’s an incredibly resilient community, and we’re proud to be here.”