Victoria Estrada, left, and Terra Avilla, both of the Susanville Police Department, ring the Salvation Army Red Kettle Bell during a past year. The Susanville Salvation Army is seeking volunteers for the upcoming season. File photo

Susanville Salvation Army seeks volunteers

Looking for a way to give back this year? The Susanville Salvation Army is in need of volunteers to serve with them this Christmas season. One way to serve is to ring the Red Kettle Bell. The Red Kettle Campaign is the major fundraiser that enables them to provide assistance throughout the year, the organization shared on Facebook Monday, Oct. 12. Volunteers can ring as a club, group or individual. Other volunteer opportunities are available.

To get involved or for more information,  contact your local Salvation Army Representative, Carla McDonald, at 257-0314.

“Millions of people of all ages volunteer their time, talents and resources to assist The Salvation Army’s work all over the world. Our volunteers are critical partners in helping us fulfill our promise of ‘Doing the Most Good,'” read the post. “We serve individuals and families in our community by responding to physical needs and helping meet spiritual needs. In addition, we also provide summer camp, back-to-school and Christmas gift programs to local youth.”

According to a statement from Salvation Army, for the first time in 130 years, The Salvation Army is starting its annual holiday fundraising campaign early across the country and in Northern California in order to rescue Christmas. The funds raised through the organization’s iconic red kettles are at risk this year due to COVID-19. Requests for services are at an all-time high and the need will be greater than ever this holiday season.

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, providing shelter and helping place gifts under the tree – assuming the resources are available. In Northern California, the nonprofit served 36,177 people during the holiday season last year and expect that number to greatly increase this year due to the hardships surrounding COVID-19.

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. More than $2 million of that was brought in through fundraising efforts in Northern California. While digital fundraising for Christmas has started earlier than ever, most bell ringers won’t be out collecting money at the iconic red kettles until November. This is where the bulk of fundraising happens.

“This year we are expecting a rise in need across Northern California,” said Major Ivan Wild, Salvation Army Divisional Commander. “COVID-19 has affected many people in many different ways and we at The Salvation Army are positioned and ready to help anyone this Christmas who might find themselves in need. There are many families who will be counting on TSA to provide food and toys for their children. We are committed to offer of hope and encouragement during these difficult times. The Salvation Army is able to be there for those in need through the generous support of our community.”

Since March, The Salvation Army in Northern California has provided 246,516 meals, 39,088 nights of safe shelter, and emotional and spiritual support to 103,994 people in need. Now more than ever, the nonprofit is making it safer and simpler to donate in order to support the most vulnerable in Northern California:
• 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.
• Give online at rescue.gosalarmy.org or through our new Virtual Red Kettles (launching Oct. 15.)
• To help ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors and partners, The Salvation Army has adopted nationally mandated safety protocols. Red Kettles and bell ringers will be out at stores starting in November.
• Donate digitally with Apple Pay or Google Pay at any red kettle in Northern California.
• 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.

More News