LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The global pandemic has impacted thousands across WAVE Country, including the organizations that give back to the community; the Salvation Army is no exception.
The Salvation Army has provided more than 95,000 meals, 51,000 nights of safe shelter and emotional and spiritual support to more than 29,000 people since March.
In order to continue serving the community throughout the pandemic, the Salvation Army kicked off its annual Christmas Red Kettle and Angel Tree donation programs early this year.
“While the red kettles evoke images of cheerful shoppers strolling into the department stores and grocery stores, those images will look a little different this year,” Captain Jimmy Parrish, a Salvation Army Louisville Commander said.
The organization set a goal of $625,000 for its Red Kettles and hopes to collect Christmas gifts for 10,000 local children through its Angel Tree program.
However, meeting those fundraising goals will be more difficult compared to years past. The Salvation Army said it expects half the normal amount of foot traffic at its Red Kettle and Angel Tree store locations this year due to the pandemic.
The organization created seven new safe ways to donate:
- Donate online to the community’s virtual Red Kettle
- Accept the Red Kettle challenge by creating your own Red Kettle to collect donations
- Volunteer as a bell ringer
- Give with your phone at a Red Kettle stand by scanning the code on the kettle with your smart phone
- Adopt an angel and purchase Christmas gifts for local children
- Host a drive at your church or business and collect non-perishable food, new coats, gloves and socks
- Enlist in Love’s Army to make a monthly $25 donation
“This pandemic has removed a lot for all of us, but it has really removed a lot from our children,” Captain Lacy Parrish, a Salvation Army Louisville Commander said. “Can you imagine what it would look like on Christmas morning with no gifts under the tree? It really looks like one more loss.”
The Salvation Army officially launched its Red Kettle and Angel Tree programs on Wednesday by accepting this year’s first donation- a check from the Colonel Harland Sanders Foundation for $100,000.
“We’re going to see less people into the stores. If we see 50 percent less people, that means less money coming into a kettle every day,” Captain Jimmy Parrish said. “This is a way in which we thought we could kick it off; get it started, but this is only the beginning.”
In Kentucky, shoppers can find Salvation Army Angels now in area malls in Kentucky, or select one online by clicking here. The last day for shoppers to return Angel gifts to stores is Dec 7. The mall locations are: Oxmoor, Mall St. Matthews, Jefferson Mall and Towne Mall in Elizabethtown.
In Indiana, Angels gifts can be returned to Green Tree Mall and Clarksville Mall no between Nov. 27 and Dec. 5. Click here to learn more about Angel Tree adoption in Indiana. Gifts also can be delivered to the Center of Hope at 2300 Green Valley Road in New Albany.