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Salvation Army In Need Of Volunteers As Red Kettle Donations Projected To Decline

Bridget Johnson (Richards Group)

Due to COVID-19 safety restrictions The Salvation Army has operated differently this year. But in Kentucky the organization has continued to provide food, shelter, emergency financial relief, and utilizing mobile feeding units to practice social distancing.

The Salvation Army Captain Monica Horton of Paducah, Kentucky, said while the organization has managed to continue offering services, they’ve struggled to get volunteers. And fewer volunteers, she said, has already caused a decline in donations.

“We have less volunteers, we have less bell ringers. There are people that are nervous about standing outside and being where people are, so that in itself has limited us and prevented us from doing all we normally do.”

“The need [for donations] is greater, as anybody could imagine, with people losing their jobs with the governor’s shutdown,” she added.“If we don't have anyone to stand there then we can't collect money, and the less money we collect, the less services we can provide to the community throughout the year.”

Despite the challenges, Horton said The Salvation Army is still collecting donations and recruiting volunteers while implementing sanitation and social distancing guidelines. She said the organization is “just doing our part” to be as “normal as we can during a pandemic.”

According to The Salvation Army website, today in the U.S., The Salvation Army assists more than 4.5 million people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Captain McFee, founder of the kettle idea, launched the tradition that has spread throughout the world, and public contributions to the red kettles are what fund its year-round efforts.

To assist in the pandemic, The Salvation Army has turned their Christmas Angel Tree warehouse into a 100-bed quarantine shelter for the homeless or those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and need a place to recover.

There are also ways to donate online to the Red Kettle Challenge and volunteer opportunities at select locations. More information is available by contacting local Salvation Armys to get the most up-to-date information on services in your area.

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