Salvation Army seeks volunteers as COVID-19 pandemic creates need

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 4:08 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - For the last 128 years, volunteers for the Salvation Army have spent the holiday season ringing bells and raising money. This year, the need is greater than ever.

“We have a lot more people who we’re assisting this year,” Maj. Douglas McClure said. “The Salvation Army across the country has seen almost a 40 percent increase in requests for assistance, and this year we need even more help.”

The Salvation Army needs about 7,000 volunteer hours across 31 locations in the CSRA. So far, they only have about 900 hours covered during their most important time of the year.

“Hundreds of children receive Christmas from the Salvation Army,” McClure said. “This center of hope stays open because of your donations during Christmas.”

Many people are worried about COVID and the high foot traffic around the red kettles. But McClure says the Salvation Army is taking steps to keep volunteers safe.

“All of our bell ringers are required to wear a mask,” McClure said. “We are sanitizing all of our equipment before it’s being used and after it’s being used. We’re providing aprons like this for our volunteers to use to keep them safe.”

You can also donate online or scan the QR code on the signs -- a feature introduced last year.

“We’re hoping as it picks up and as more people are aware of that and as more people are used to contactless forms of giving that they’re gonna use this as an opportunity to make this a brighter season for us,” McClure said.

He says while these are great, it’s the volunteers who make the campaign such a success.

“Volunteers help raise more money,” McClure said. “Volunteers have a great spirit and a great Christmas holiday atmosphere they bring to them, so we need your help this year to volunteer.”

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