Pandemic at Christmas: Salvation Army responds to heightened need, concerns over decreased donations
Just as businesses have been impacted by COVID-19's strain on the economy, many non-profits are also struggling. This holiday season, more families than ever have signed up for Salvation Army's help -- but the Salvation Army faces several struggles due to the pandemic.Posted — Updated
Bell-ringers with red kettles collecting donations for the Salvation Army of Wake County are a common sight during the holidays. However, the pandemic has decreased the number of bell-ringers shoppers see this year, which could mean fewer donations.
"We could see up to a 50% decrease in red kettle funds this year due to several factors, including consumers carrying less cash and fewer coins," said Major Al Newsome of the Salvation Army.
Plus, more people shopping online means less foot traffic, and higher levels of unemployment mean fewer people have extra money to donate.
"We do know the financial impact in this community has been difficult for everyone," said Newsome.
While the economic strain has decreased donations, it's also increased the need for Salvation Army's services.
During a typical holiday season, the Salvation Army reaches around 700 to 1,000 families, but this year those numbers are far more.
"We have taken on several hundred families more, because there’s so many people in need," said Newsome.
WRAL’s Coats for the Children program, which kicks off Saturday, is one way that the community can bring warmth to thousands of children who are in need in the current economic climate.
Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.