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Salvation Army Empire State Division sets out to 'Rescue Christmas' due to immense impact of COVID-19

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Thu, Sep 24th 2020 01:05 pm

Across nation, largest social-services organization launches iconic holiday fundraising campaign earlier than ever to meet increasing need

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% more people nationwide 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. Throughout this division of The Salvation Army last year, 4.3 million meals were served. Since COVID-19 hit, the Empire State Division has already served 5.4 million meals in just six months.

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% decrease in funds raised nationally through the red kettles, which would limit its capability to provide services for the most vulnerable. To put this in perspective, last year $3.8 million was raised across the local division through about 2,000 red kettles.

“We know that this year the need for financial support is greater than ever before. We need your help to ensure Christmas is bright for those who need it most. We will continue to redefine what it means to ‘Do the Most Good’ during these unprecedented times and we hope you will join us in rescuing Christmas for our most vulnerable friends and neighbors across New York state,” said Maj. Ivan Rock, state commander for Empire State Division.

Here are safe and simple ways to help:

√ The best way to ensure these vital services continue is to enlist in Love’s Army with a sustaining monthly gift of $25 per month.

√ Donate digitally with Apple Pay or Google Pay at any red kettle in New York.

√ Donate to a virtual red kettle at http://salarmy.us/empredkettle.

√ Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specifying the amount.

√ 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.

√ Every donation provides help and hope to those in need, and all gifts stay within the community in which they are given. Visit empire.salvationarmy.org to donate or learn more about how to help The Salvation Army rescue Christmas this year.

The Empire State Division of The Salvation Army covers 48 counties in Upstate New York and one city in Pennsylvania (Sayre). Its annual red kettle campaign in November and December helps 49 community centers and 166 volunteer-driven service units raise funds that remain in each community to help those in need.

For more information, go to empire.salvationarmy.org or visit on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/salvationarmyempirestate.

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is “Doing the Most Good” at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and use #DoingTheMostGood.

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