NORTH PLATTE, Neb.-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.
Based on the increase in services already provided in response to the pandemic, the organization could serve up to 155 percent more people in 2020 with Christmas assistance, including putting food on the table, paying bills, providing shelter, and helping place gifts under the tree – assuming the resources are available. In Lincoln County, we served135 families last year. If we see the same level of increased requests for service, that would mean 209 families would need our help this holiday season.
At the same time, due to the closing of retail stores, consumers carrying less cash and coins, and the decline in foot traffic, The Salvation Army could see up to a 50 percent decrease in funds raised nationally through the red kettles, which would limit their capability to provide services for the most vulnerable. To put this in perspective, last year $126 million was raised nationally through about 30,000 red kettles. In North Platte, we raised $54,532 through 11 red kettle locations.
"We have been serving through the crisis, providing assistance to many families in Lincoln County. We appreciate the support of our community thus far, but we know that the need continues to grow. More people will be looking to The Salvation Army to help them through these challenging times," said Major Harold Poff, Corps Officer.
Since March, The Salvation Army North Platte has provided food to 520 families, assisted 18 families with rent and utilities, and distributed produce to approximately 11,400 families in our community. Now more than ever, they’re making it safer and simpler to donate in order to support the most vulnerable in our community.
- 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.
- The Red Kettles will be in place beginning November 9 and will be in position through December 24. 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 North Platte.
- Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specifying the amount.
- Give any amount by texting “KETTLES” to 91999.
- 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.
The traditional red kettles will be deployed locally beginning November 9 and will continue through December 24.
Every donation provides help and hope to those in need, and all gifts stay within the community in which they are given. Visit RescueChristmas.org to donate or learn more about how you can help The Salvation Army rescue Christmas this year. If you need services or know of someone in need, please visit centralusa.salvationarmy.org/northplatte/ to find a location near you.