TAMPA, Fla. — As the Salvation Army is already seeing a greater need this year than ever before due to job loss and illness in the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer volunteers are stepping forward to help with the organization's Red Kettle program.
The Salvation Army's Red Kettle program directly benefits those in need in our local community. It helps families across the country all year long with food assistance and more.
"If you could just think about this Christmas season, how it's going to be harder for people, that need is increased," said Captain Andy Miller with Salvation Army Tampa. "I've never meant that more than I say it right now."
They are asking people who are willing to sign up and work a red kettle near their home to do so by signing up online.
Bell ringers will wear masks and gloves, wipe down kettles after each donation, and stand six feet away from the kettle.
There will also be cashless options to donate, like ApplePay.
The Salvation Army is also asking people to host a Virtual Kettle on their social media pages to help raise money in a safe, contact-free way.
This comes as the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program is taking steps to socially distance all while providing thousands of gifts for families across the country.
On Friday, October 23, corporations will pick up their Angel Tree tags from Salvation Army headquarters in a drive-thru event.
Later, families will be able to pick up their Angel Tree gifts in a drive-thru event too.
Families can also select their Angels online, or choose them in person at stores like Publix, Winn Dixie, and Walmart. The online system is still being set up, but check back here in the next few weeks for options.