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Salvation Army starts virtual fundraising early in effort to 'Rescue Christmas'

Posted at 4:31 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 19:09:59-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- For the first time in 130 years, The Salvation Army is starting its annual holiday fundraising campaign early across the country in order to "rescue Christmas."

The funds raised through the organization’s iconic red kettles are at risk this year due to COVID-19 while requests for services are at an all-time high.

As fewer individuals are shopping in person or carrying cash as a result of the pandemic, The Salvation Army estimates that they could see up to a 50 percent decrease in funds raised nationally through the red kettles, which would limit their capacity to provide services for the most vulnerable.

“In Central Virginia, nearly 6,000 individuals rely on The Salvation Army’s support each Christmas. With more individuals needing support for the first time following the economic impact of COVID-19, we could see that number double,” Captain Jason Burns of The Salvation Army Central Virginia said. “We are committed to providing hope to the most vulnerable, but we need the community’s support now more than ever to do so. We are looking at new options to make donating safer and simpler than ever so that we can also keep the safety of our donors and volunteers safety a priority as we continue to navigate the pandemic.”

Since March, The Salvation Army of Central Virginia has provided more than 10,000 meals, 198 nights of safe shelter, and emotional and spiritual support to hundreds of people in need.

Here's how you can get involved:

  • The best way to ensure that these vital services continue is to enlist in Love’s Army with a sustaining monthly gift of $25 per month.
  • Donate in person red kettle locations beginning in November. Locations will be updated on the Salvation Army website as they become confirmed. To help ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors and partners, The Salvation Army has adopted nationally mandated safety protocols.
  • Donate digitally with Apple Pay or Google Pay at any red kettle in Central Virginia
  • Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specifying the amount.
  • Adopt an online red kettle to help get a head start on Christmas.
  • Give any amount by texting “RVAKETTLE” to 71777
  • Donate physical gifts in bulk.
  • Adopt additional Angels to give hope and joy to kids and families in need through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.