“It would be no exaggeration to say that the Salvation Army has seen a tsunami of human distress since the pandemic began in mid-March,” said Kenneth Hodder, National Commander of the Salvation Army.
Since March, the Salvation Army has provided more than 100 million meals, 1.5 million nights of safe shelter, and emotional and spiritual support to over 800,000 people in the United States. They expect this number to rise, and expect the need for their services to rise 155% during the holiday season. These services include putting food on the table, paying bills, providing shelter, and even placing gifts under the tree.
“We will grow from an average of 2.6 million people a year to more than 6.6 million people.”
“Our traditional red cauldron campaign, a symbol of Christmas and American mutual care, is getting tougher this year,” Hodder told CNN.
“We believe that Christmas is in danger for millions of Americans,” said the commander. “The need we see at Christmas will go well beyond the holidays.”
Last year, the Salvation Army raised $ 126 million through its Red Kettle campaign. They expect to bring in only half of that this year.
“That would be catastrophic to our ability to meet people’s needs,” said Hodder. “For us, the Christmas cauldron campaign is not just a symbol, but also a means of procuring the vital resources we need.”
Red Kettle goes virtual
Although this year’s campaign started early, you won’t see as many kettles this season as you did last Christmas.
“Most people have less cash with them than in the past. There is less pedestrian traffic in some shops and as unemployment has risen so many people who have given to the army in the past are actually coming to us for help . “
“People can go to this website today and make a one-time donation, find volunteer opportunities, enroll in the Army, and give a $ 25 monthly gift,” Hodden added.
Local donations remain in the communities from which these funds come. The Salvation Army ensures that 0.82 cents of every dollar donated will go directly to the needy.
“We want to make sure that everyone who comes to the Salvation Army gets what they need, not just for Christmas, but also to know that there is hope and that a bright future lies ahead.”