For the first time in 130 years, the Salvation Army is starting its annual holiday fundraising campaign early 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,” said Major George Hackbarth of the Covington Salvation Army.
Based on the increase in services already provided in response to the pandemic, the Salvation Army 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.
The Salvation Army, serving city of Covington, Alleghany and Bath counties, is pleased to announce that it will be providing children with toys and clothing in the annual Salvation Army Angel Tree program. Each family registered for the program is screened through a process that helps verify their needs.
An Angel Tree will be inside the Covington Walmart from Nov. 1 until Dec. 12. On each tree are printed angels that have the name, age and gift suggestions for a child “angel” registered in the program.
Each angel is ready for members of the community to “adopt” (purchase gifts) for Christmas. Businesses and community organizations that would like to adopt angels or volunteer for the program can call Kimm Robertson at 540-962-6206 for more information.
The Salvation Army is also kicking off its annual Red Kettle Campaign this week, with a goal of raising $50,000.
While the need is greater, 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 through their iconic Red Kettles.
This could severely limit the Salvation Army’s capability to provide services for the most vulnerable.
“The money raised in the Red Kettles in the community stays here and provides for a multitude of service such as meals, assistance with rent and utility payments, and youth programs,” said Major Hackbarth.
In 2019, the Salvation Army of Covington has served more than 2,222 people through its social service programs that provide food, clothing and emergency financial assistance to those in need.
Community members who would like to volunteer to ring the bells can call Kimm Robertson at 540-962-6206.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, the Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country.
In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit.
The Virginian Review has been serving Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany County and Bath County since 1914.