RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Christmas may not be on your mind yet, but the Salvation Army is hoping to change that for the “Rescue Christmas” initiative.
"Normally we usually kick off the first of November, and we’re kicking off middle of September, first of October,” said Captain Jason Burns, the Central Virginia area commander.
Burns says they’ve expanded their efforts by opening sign-ups for their giving events, like Angel Tree, earlier than usual this year, among other changes.
“We have looked at our numbers, we’ve looked at the projections of what’s happening, and so we have collectively said we need help this year to rescue Christmas," he said.
The Salvation Army has also moved some of their operations to digital platforms to make it more widespread, meaning you’ll see less of those red kettles and volunteer bell ringers at storefronts or street corners.
The kettles can actually be rented out to people who hope to raise money at their own events, or you can raise money digitally. But closer to the holidays, the red kettles will be around town, now offering contact-less options.
“On each of our locations, you’ll have a sicker that will be either on the sign or on the kettle, and that will be the Apple Pay or the Google Pay options,” Burns said.
The funds won’t just go to their Christmas efforts, but also to provide food, rent and other costs for families staying at their shelters, and at the Boys and Girls' Club.
“Next year is another set of circumstances that we cannot foresee all of them, but we know that the challenges are there. And having a strong Christmas, one where we can come in and rescue the fallen - rescue those who are less fortunate - will give us the opportunity to continue to serve for the next 12 months," Burns added.
He says that despite the pandemic, donations to the Salvation Army have increased because more individuals and foundations have stepped up their own efforts.
More information on the donation changes can be found, here.
Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.