CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — The Salvation Army is joining a growing list of central Illinois organizations that are canceling their events and operations amidst subzero temperatures.

The Salvation Army branches in Champaign and Vermilion Counties announced on Friday that they are ending most kettle collection operations 2.5 days early due to the cold temperatures and even colder windchills on Friday and Saturday. Donors will find only five (5) kettle standing Friday and Saturday.

“The safety of our bell ringers must always come first,” officials from each branch said. “We have established an online ‘virtual kettle’ for those in the community who would like to donate from the comfort of their home allowing us to finish the season strong.”

SA Vermilion County said that $3,100 will be lost due to the removal of kettles. SA Champaign County reported an even worse loss of more than $25,000. The latter branch will leave five kettles standing on Friday and Saturday.

The Salvation Army said there are three ways people can make a donation other than going to a red kettle location:

Both branches thanked all donors and volunteer bell ringers for their contributions this season, which included organizations, service clubs, families and individuals. SA Champaign County reported that they raised over $125,000 through the red kettle campaign, including $20,000 in the last four days, while SA Vermilion County raised almost $34,000.

If you would like to donate, virtually, visit https://donate.salarmyncil.org/team/451234.