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The Salvation Army starts Christmas programs early because of COVID-19

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 11:36 PM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and some people became unemployed, The Salvation Army has ramped up their efforts to help the community. The winter and Christmas season is usually a busy time for the organization anyway, and this year they are unable to fundraise in person as much because of COVID-19.

“We are anticipating not being able to be in many locations ringing those bells this year,” Corps Officer Michael Cox said.

Not only are fundraising efforts affected, more people will be in need because of the pandemic.

“Our food boxes, we’re already seeing a 90 percent increase in the food boxes we give out,” Cox explained.

Because of this, The Salvation Army started ‘Rescue Christmas.’ They are starting to recruit volunteers early to make sure they can still raise enough to help those who need it. You can click here to learn more about Rescue Christmas and how you can help.

You will still be able to buy gifts for a child as part of their Angel Tree Program like normal. Cox said they are expecting around two thousand children to be on the list this year.

You can also click here to donate online. 2020 has created a ‘virtual kettle’ for people to donate instead of at a storefront. Some people will still be ringing bells, but again, because of COVID-19, the number of people will be limited.

“You will be amazed by the mothers. the children, the fathers, the single parents that are here of how many people need our help,” Maria Chestnut, a volunteer with The Salvation Army said.

The organization also provides food and shelter during the wintertime. They are accepting donations for non-perishable and non-expired food items.

“It’s a great effort for us to again get people through the winter months when they need it most,” Cox said.

The Salvation Army will also pair with Walmart this holiday season. There will be a registry of items at the store for you to shop for their Angel Tree Program.

Copyright 2020 WBKO. All rights reserved.

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