The Salvation Army Tree of Lights event was held Monday morning outside West Park Mall in Cape Girardeau.
As of Monday morning, the Cape area Salvation Army was at 47% of its goal.
The organization hopes to raise $320,000 this year.
The funds are used not just during the holiday season, but all year long.
Major Ben Stillwell said the need this year is greater than ever.
This Thanksgiving the Salvation Army served a record 1,575 meals at its Cape location.
That's compared to 1,403 served last year.
At Monday's event, the lights on the tree outside the mall were turned on in hopes people will be reminded to be a shining light to those in need.
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