Salvation Army Clarksburg sets out to ‘Rescue Christmas’ due to COVID-19 impact

BUCKHANNON — For the first time in 130 years, the Salvation Army is starting its annual holiday fundraising campaign early across the country in order to rescue Christmas.

The funds raised through the organization’s iconic red kettles are at risk this year due to COVID-19 while requests for services are at an all-time high.

Based on the increase in services already provided in response to the pandemic, the organization could serve up to 155 percent more people in 2020 with Christmas assistance, including putting food on the table,
paying bills, and helping place gifts under the tree – assuming the resources are available.

In Upshur County we served 218 number of angels last year. If we see the same level of increased requests for service, that would mean 338 who need our help this holiday season.

At the same time, due to the closing of retail stores, consumers carrying less cash and coins, and the decline in foot traffic, the Salvation Army could see up to a 50 percent decrease in funds raised nationally through the red kettles, which would limit their capability to provide services for the most vulnerable.

To put this in perspective, last year $126 million was raised nationally through about 30,000 red kettles. Buckhannon raised $23,525.93.

“COVID-19 has impacted the way we help in this community. The way we find those in need. The way we determine the process of helping them. And the way we provide that help. Our community will help us in this because we foresee a greater need coming to us for assistance, and we will
need the financial support to meet those needs,” said Clarksburg Corps Officer Major Eric Roberts.

Since March, The Salvation Army Buckhannon has provided more than 1,418 food orders, paid 317 utility bills, and provided emotional and spiritual support to people in need. Now more than ever, they’re
making it safer and simpler to donate in order to support the most vulnerable in Upshur County, WV.

Here’s how you can help:

  • The best way to ensure that these vital services continue is to enlist in Love’s Army with a sustaining monthly gift of $25 per month.
  • To help ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors and partners, The Salvation Army has adopted national mandated safety protocols.
  • Donate digitally with Apple Pay or Google Pay at any red kettle in Upshur County, WV.
  • Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specifying the amount.
  • Give any amount by texting “KETTLES” to 91999.
  • Donate physical gifts in bulk.
  • Adopt additional Angels to give hope and joy to kids and families in need through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.

“Considering the projected need may be at a 155% increase and the income from traditional kettle income is expected at a 50% decrease, we know we are fighting the odds this year but are completely confident in our
community and its ability and willingness to help us overcome the hurdles before us,” said Clarksburg Business Administrator, Christina Smith.

Every donation provides help and hope to those in need, and all gifts stay within the community in which they are given. Click here to donate or learn more about how you can help The Salvation Army rescue Christmas this year. If you need services or know of someone in need, please visit “The Salvation Army of Buckhannon” Facebook page, or visit our website at or call 304-472-6165 to find a location near you.

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