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5 ways to help brighten the holidays for those who need it most

Kate Heinz, for The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit
This Christmas, explore a variety of volunteer opportunities and ways to help the most vulnerable in metro Detroit.

The holidays are nearly upon us — a time of giving, celebration and joy. This Christmas, however, will undoubtedly feel much different than years’ past because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. And so, too, will The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign.

COVID-19 has affected our communities and their members disproportionately. People like Keia, who was helped by the Detroit Temple Salvation Army Corps Community Center. High unemployment rates and struggling local economies mean many of our neighbors are at risk. Never before has there been a greater need for generosity, relief and, above all, hope.

This year, The Salvation Army urges metro Detroiters to commit to rescuing Christmas for our community’s most vulnerable — those who may lack proper shelter, a warm meal, or who may need to choose between paying rent and buying Christmas presents. 

However, with the absence of some physical red kettles, The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit faces significant challenges to raising the funds needed to provide a wide range of initiatives and critical social services.

The Salvation Army is more than a red kettle. Last year, the nonprofit helped provide:

  • More than 2.5 million meals
  • Nearly 580,000 nights of shelter
  • Nearly 167,000 Christmas toys and gifts for children and seniors
  • More than 2,300 opportunities for children to visit Echo Grove Camp
  • The resolution of nearly 1,800 legal issues through the William Booth Legal Aid Clinic

Your donation at a physical or virtual red kettle supports The Salvation Army’s mission to serve those in need this Christmas season and beyond. But there are more opportunities to get involved and help brighten up the holidays. Here are five ways you can support The Salvation Army:

1. Donate money via online or physical red kettles, or by texting GIFT to 24365. 

Your donation goes a long way in helping those in need. Plus, through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, gifts of up to $300 are 100% deductible for 2020, even for those using the standard deduction.

Here’s a breakdown of how your donation will benefit members of your community:

  • $20 will help provide a basic needs kit
  • $25 will help keep a child warm this winter
  • $50 will assist an emergency disaster victim
  • $100 will help provide one week of meals to a family of four
  • $1,000 will help feed, house and counsel a family for a month

2. Start your own Virtual Red Kettle fundraiser. 

This is a peer-to-peer fundraising effort in which you can choose to start a new Virtual Red Kettle or join another team. You can help raise funds for The Salvation Army through email or your social media channels.

Raise funds for The Salvation Army from the comfort of your home by starting or joining a Virtual Red Kettle.

3. Contactless donations at physical red kettles via Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Contactless payment is one of The Salvation Army’s many safety measures put in place to protect in-person volunteers and donors, including providing personal protection equipment to all bellringers.

4. Volunteer as a virtual or in-person bellringer at RegisterToRing.com.

Families and individuals are encouraged to sign up as volunteer bellringers, and they have the option to choose between a traditional, two-hour session or a virtual bellringing shift where they can fundraise from the comfort of their own home.

By donating their time as virtual or in-person bellringers, volunteers will have a chance to win an Apple or Android Smartwatch generously donated by a Salvation Army supporter as part of this year’s “Watch For Good” initiative. Learn more and sign up at RegisterToRing.com.

5. Visit salmich.org or call 877-SAL-MICH.

The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit will be releasing more information about this year’s Red Kettle Campaign in the coming weeks. To stay in the know and find more information about how to get involved, visit salmich.org/RescueChristmas

Your generosity can help rescue Christmas for the most vulnerable in your community. Visit The Salvation Army’s website and find your way to give back.

Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA TODAY Network were not involved in the creation of this content.
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