Greenville, SC (FOX Carolina) - This holiday season could be particularly difficult for some Upstate families due to the immense impact of COVID-19. With that in mind, The Salvation Army of Greenville, Pickens and Oconee Counties are coming together to "Rescue Christmas".
For the first time in 130 years, The Salvation Army is starting its annual holiday fundraising campaign early across the country. Officials say due to COVID-19, funds raised by the organization's iconic red kettles are at risk this year while requests for services are at an all-time high.
With more stores closing, and consumers carrying less cash and coin, The Salvation Army says they could see up to 50 percent less in donations this holiday season. To put this in perspective, last year the Salvation Army of Greenville, Pickens and Oconee Counties raised $370,000 through about 70 red kettles.
Funds raised in the red kettle campaign are used to help families put food on the table, pay bills, provide shelter, and put gifts under the Christmas tree.
In Greenville and Pickens Counties, The Salvation Army says they served 31,000 people last year and could serve up to 155 percent more in 2020.
“This year has certainly been unexpected for everyone,” says Major Andrew Kelly, Area Commander of The Salvation Army of Greenville, Pickens & Oconee Counties. “Now more than ever, we are seeing increased requests for assistance across all of our services, and we are preparing to meet this increased need as we go into the Christmas season. If you are in need of help or would like to give help, please reach out to us at SalvationArmyGreenville.org.”
The Salvation Army is making it safer and simpler to donate in order to support the most vulnerable in our Greenville, Pickens and Oconee communities:
- The best way to ensure that these vital services continue is to enlist in the Army that’s Doing the Most Good with a sustaining monthly gift of $25 per month.
- To help ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors and partners, The Salvation Army has adopted nationally mandated safety protocols. Locally, The Salvation Army will be announcing more information about kettles soon.
- Donate digitally with Apple Pay or Google Pay at many of our red kettles in Greenville, Pickens and Oconee Counties.
- Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specifying the amount.
- Give any amount by texting “KETTLES” to 41444.
- Donate physical gifts in bulk. Please email us here to speak to someone about this donation option.
- Adopt additional Angels to give hope and joy to kids and families in need through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. More information about adopting Angel tree tags in Greenville, Pickens & Oconee Counties will be announced soon.