Salvation Army to get early start on seasonal fundraising

The Salvation Army bell ringers, through an expansion of programs like Angel Tree and Red Kettles, will be out earlier this year.

To help meet the unprecedented level of need this holiday season, Walmart and The Salvation Army Lower Eastern Shore are working together to make it even easier for people to help others this Christmas.

Building upon a 40-year relationship of supporting people in need during the holiday season, Walmart and The Salvation Army are bringing hope and joy to families through the expansion of programs like Angel Tree and Red Kettles, which will be out earlier, and, for the first time ever, round-up donations to The Salvation Army in-store and online.

The economic fallout of the ongoing health crisis has led to a new population of families and individuals facing unemployment and financial hardships that are expected to last through the holidays and well into the coming year.

A recent study by Columbia University showed that nearly 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty since May. On the Lower Eastern Shore, the Salvation Army served more than 26,000 people last year and is close to meeting that number in nine months since Covid-19 hit here.

With that in mind, both organizations are making it easier for customers to give to those in need this Christmas.

“Across the country, we are seeing an unprecedented level of need this year, and we expect that to continue into the holiday season and beyond,” said Capt. Matthew Trantham, Commanding Officer at The Salvation Army Lower Eastern Shore.

“It’s through the support of the public and dedicated partners like Walmart that we are able to serve more than 26,000 people in need each year,” he said. “This year, as we continue to meet the high level of need, we’re particularly grateful for the partnership.”

In Walmart stores in Berlin, Fruitland, Pocomoke and Salisbury, the expanded partnership includes:

• Walmart will offer customers the option to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar and donate the difference to The Salvation Army. Customers can do this in stores at manned cash registers, on Walmart.com or through the Walmart app. The option to donate will run through Dec. 31.

• The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles and iconic bell ringers will be at participating Walmart stores even earlier this year, starting on Saturday, Nov. 21. The Salvation Army is adopting nationally

mandated safety protocols for physical kettles to help ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors and partners. Bell ringers will also be at Sam’s Club in Salisbury.

• Salvation Army Angel Trees will appear in participating Walmart stores, giving local shoppers the opportunity to select a child or children from the tree and to purchase or drop off gifts onsite.

• Those who prefer to do their shopping online can visit salvationarmyusa.org/walmart-angel-tree to find their closest Angel Tree Registry, either in-store or online. Through the site, customers can shop for gifts and have them delivered directly to a local Salvation Army.

Visit RescueChristmas.org to donate or learn more about how you can help The Salvation Army rescue Christmas this year. Every donation provides help and hope to the most vulnerable, and all gifts stay within the community in which they are given. If you want to schedule a time to ring bells at the Red Kettles, donate or volunteer, please call 410-749-7771 ext. 100 and stay connected via Facebook.

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