MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) — For the first time in 130 years the Salvation Army is starting their Red Kettle Campaign early in an effort to rescue Christmas.
This year they expect to collect 50 percent less, while the need for their services has increased tremendously.
The Salvation Army is beginning their campaign early in an effort to raise awareness of the increase of people in need this Christmas, because of the pandemic.
Since the pandemic started the Salvation Army has had to move most of the services they offer on-line. Since March they have given out $100,000 in rental assistance, and are providing meals through their drive-thru program.
During this time last year, they were feeding 200 people every day, this year they are feeding between 700 to 900 people daily. During Hurrican Hanna, the organization stepped in to help feed 5,600 people daily, in a five-county areas.
“Were expecting a 50 percent loss to our Christmas campaign, due to retail stores closing where we normally kettle, and to also people carrying less cash and coins and also people becoming unemployed,” Says Lt. Adolph Aguirre, Commanding Officer, Salvation Army Mcallen/Hidalgo County.
The Salvation Army also provides presents for families through their Angel Tree program, which has also moved on-line.
Also beginning October 1, individuals and businesses can set up their own Red Kettles on-line where you can challenge your family and friends to help.
Locally, they are trying to raise $230,000 which is about 20 percent of their annual budget.
Nationwide you can already see some Red Kettles out, but here locally if they are allowed to have their bell ringers out, they will begin early November.
Aside from using the kettles (both physically and digitally through Apple Pay or Google Pay), donations can be made online, or by asking Alexa to donate or texting KETTLE to 91999.