SAN ANGELO, Texas — This Christmas season will be busier than usual for the San Angelo Salvation Army because of all the families affected by Coronavirus shutdowns. Organizers say they expect a big increase in requests for the annual Angel Tree program and the annual Red Kettle Campaign will look a little different.
“People that normally would not come to the Salvation Army for help are coming because of the situation where COVID-19 has put them,” said Janet Sheen, Community Relations Development Coordinator for the Salvation Army in San Angelo.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Concho Valley the Salvation Army was forced to close its thrift store and church doors. Now the non-profit is planning for the holiday season early in order to “rescue Christmas.”
“October 1st we start the 31 days of Christmas. We already started Christmas planning and engaging on September 15th,” explained Sheen.
Sheen said this year they plan on seeing a 155% increase in people who need assistance during the holiday season.
“Over 800 children received presents under the tree, clothing and gifts (in 2019). This year we’re looking at 1,000, if not more,” added Sheen.
The Salvation Army is already accepting donations for the Angel Tree program.
This holiday season, the annual kettle campaign will be different.
“We still plan on having some kettles out. We’re abiding by strict regulations. All of the volunteers will be wearing a mask and gloves, and be 6 feet away from the kettle,” explained Sheen.
Virtual kettle donations will also be an option as the non-profit seeks to raise enough funds to help those in need.
“It’s very important that we get those funds in to help those families. Not only do we help at Christmas time, but the funds we receive at Christmas time are the bulk of our finances with which we help people throughout the year,” said Sheen.
To make a donation or learn more about how you can help the Salvation Army this holiday season, click here.
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