WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - With less than 100 days until the holidays, the Salvation Army launches its Rescue Christmas campaign to encourage people to donate to the organization.
“It’s going to be a very unprecedented Christmas season with a lot of additional challenges,” said Major Mark Craddock, who leads the Salvation Army of Cape Fear.
Many are turning to the Salvation Army for the first time in their lives due to pandemic-related job loss.
At the same time, there is a coin shortage due to the COVID-19 health crisis.
“When we started seeing signs around local businesses asking to pay an exact change, we realized that our Christmas effort is based on people’s change in their pocket their dollar bills in their wallet so it was pretty simple to us to say, ‘We got to do some thinking.’ We really are going to need your help to rescue Christmas and you really are going to have the opportunity to help a number of families,” Craddock said.
Some communities are sending out the red kettles a full two months early.
In Southeastern North Carolina, look for the bell ringers in early November. However, they will be out in fewer numbers this year.
Knowing the coin shortage will impact donations, the organization is encouraging donors to give online.
Businesses and supporters can adopt a red kettle and ask their friends to donate online.
While there will be the traditional Christmas angel tree at Independence Mall, there will be a virtual tree too.
Shoppers can buy gifts on Amazon and ship them directly to the Salvation Army.
Major Craddock expects a list of 3,000 or more children.
Families who want to apply for help can do so online too.
The donations that come in now help those families beyond Christmas.
“At the Salvation Army, we work every day to build hope in the lives of families so what we’re asking for is for others across to keep your area to join with the Salvation Army and continue to build help,” Craddock said. “We do that every time we give a single mom some food or we help family stay in their housing or we bring in someone on the street into a red shield shelter.”
To learn more about how you can support the Salvation Army, click here.