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.
“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. While the need for support has always been there, this year it is greater than ever, with support for Christmas expected to increase as well. As fewer individuals are shopping
in person or carrying cash as a result of the pandemic, 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. Locally, red kettles raised $290,000 through nearly 50 kettles during the 2019 Christmas season to support our programs throughout the year.
The Salvation Army of Central Virginia Sets Out to “Rescue Christmas”
· 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 at our red kettle locations beginning in November. Locations will be updated on our 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.
Every donation provides help and hope to those in need, and all gifts stay within the community in which they are given. Visit SalvationArmyCentralVA.org to donate or learn more about how you can help The Salvation Army rescue Christmas this year.
As we are all navigating through uncharted waters during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Salvation Army of Central Virginia was grateful to provide support for its Boys & Girls Club members by offering a limited-capacity summer camp. We know how adults have been challenged by all that is going on, however the pandemic and quarantine have also taken a toll on youth. From not finishing the school year, no longer being around friends or participating in their favorite activities for months, the lives of children and youth look drastically different than they did six months ago. The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club wanted to provide positive support for youth in the area, especially when they needed it most. We wanted to offer what we are here for and are known for: creating an atmosphere of fun and learning while also providing relief for parents while they are away. The scripture below was shared with Boys & Girls Club staff in preparation for reopening during these trying times:
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Staff spent the weeks leading up to summer camp learning about all CDC/State health and safety guidelines and revamping protocols to fit the current circumstance. Staff have made sure that all individuals will remain safe including measures such as: parent drop off, taking temperatures twice a day, limiting class sizes, ensuring social distancing, planning creative programming, monitoring use of face masks and hand washing, and more. Summer camp opened on June 22nd and is now in week four. While initially opening under new circumstances was tricky, staff and camp participants are now comfortably enjoying camp while remaining safe and healthy. The last few weeks have been full of activities, energy, creative programming, smiles, and laughter. Staff, parents and club members alike have been getting into the flow of navigating as we provide an optimum Club experience once again!