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Salvation Army of Marquette County sets out to ‘Rescue Christmas’ due to immense impact of COVID-19

The funds raised through the organization’s iconic red kettles are at risk this year due to COVID-19 while requests for services are at an all-time high.
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 12:24 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - 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 due to COVID-19 while requests for services are at an all-time high.

Based on the increase in services already provided in response to the pandemic, the organization could serve up to 155 percent 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. In Marquette and Alger Counties, we served 2,408 people last year at Christmas. If we see the same level of increased requests for service, that would mean 3,732 people who need our help this holiday season.

At the same time, due to 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 percent 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. In Marquette County we raised $91,000, which could leave a shortfall of $45,500.

“So many people depend on The Salvation Army for hope at Christmas, for toys, food, or assistance with some of the basics in life”, said Captain Doug Winters.  “We will be looking at creative ways to help with the expected shortfall in income, and our local Advisory Board is tackling this problem.”

Since March, The Salvation Army of Marquette County has provided 10,035 meals, and emotional and spiritual support to hundreds of people in need. Now more than ever, they’re making it safer and simpler to donate in order to support the most vulnerable in the U.P.

  • 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 help ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors and partners, The Salvation Army has adopted nationally mandated safety protocols.  Our local Advisory Board will be meeting to develop additional creative fundraising activities.
  • Donate digitally with Apple Pay or Google Pay at any red kettle In the U.P.
  • 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 kids 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. Visit RescueChristmas.org to donate or learn more about how you can help The Salvation Army rescue Christmas this year. If you need services or know of someone in need, please call 906.226.2241.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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