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 because of the coronavirus while requests for services are at an all-time high, according to a news release from the Portland-based organization.

Based on the increase in services already provided in response to the pandemic, the organization could serve up to 155% more people 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.

At the same time, because of 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 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.

Since March, the Northern New England Division (serving the people of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont) has provided more than 600,000 meals, distributed 39,562 drinks and 44,000 snacks to those in need. Now more than ever, they’re making it safer and simpler to donate in order to support the most vulnerable in the tri-state area.
• 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. To setup this gift, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org.
• 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 November.
• Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specifying the amount.
• Give any amount by texting “KETTLES” to 91999.
• Donate physical gifts in bulk.
• Adopt additional Angels to give hope and joy to children 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.

To donate or learn more about how you can help The Salvation Army rescue Christmas, visit RescueChristmas.org .

If you need services or know of someone in need, visit NNE.SalvationArmy.org or contact a local Salvation Army location.

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