Salvation Army needs your help to get through tough 2020 holiday season
The Salvation Army of Waynesboro and East Augusta County usually gets a third of the quarter of a million dollars it raises annually from local individuals from its iconic Red Kettles.
But with the decline in foot traffic at retail stores, the local unit is projecting a 50 percent decrease in donations this holiday season.
The need is obviously greater, with unemployment up sharply since mid-March, and the end to the COVID-19 pandemic response likely still months out into the distance.
This is the backdrop for the kickoff of the 2020 Red Kettle Campaign in Waynesboro, which is set for Saturday, Nov. 21, at Constitution Park.
Volunteers will be deploying across the community in the days following, with the Red Kettle Campaign running locally through Dec. 24.
The need is more stark than ever. According to figures from the Virginia Employment Commission, 1,259 local residents have lost jobs since Gov. Ralph Northam instituted the stay-at-home order as the core of his response to COVID-19 in mid-March.
Those job losses are just the beginning of a cascade of strains on families that have also resulted in increases in substance abuse, suicides and myriad physical and mental health issues.
Based on the increase in services already provided locally in 2020, the local Salvation Army unit is projecting that it could serve up to 155 percent more people this year 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 office, located 900 B St. in Waynesboro, remains open Monday thru Friday to assist those suffering with layoffs and job interruptions and have implemented procedures to safeguard clients, volunteers and staff.
The Army has set an ambitious $80,000 fundraising goal for the 2020 season as it works to meet increased needs of our community.
Those who would like to contribute to the efforts are invited to reach out to Capt. Timothy Jo, Corps Officer of The Salvation Army of Waynesboro and East Augusta County, at 540-943-7591, or email@example.com.
To make a financial contribution, visit give.virginiasalvationarmy.org/waynesborocovid.