By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) – The Salvation Army said it needs help to “rescue Christmas” as red kettle donations are down about 50% from this time last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The organization launched its campaign in the middle of September, two months earlier than usual because it anticipated an increase in need for financial assistance. Despite the earlier launch, the Salvation Army said it has raised less than half of its $2.5 million goal.

“This has been a difficult year for so many, now more than ever we are asking our communities to do whatever they can to help those in need,” said Marcus Jugenheimer, general secretary of Massachusetts Salvation Army. “We are doing everything we can to ensure every family has a meal and presents under the tree for kids this year. This year has brought unprecedented challenges for all of us, for those who can help ease the burden for others, we are asking you to do so. We thank those who have already donated and helped us make a difference.”

The Salvation Army said it is “facing a perfect storm,” dealing with a spike in demand for services along with the decline in donations. A spokesman said the Salvation Army expects to serve over 150% more people this holiday season.

Nationwide, the organization anticipates 50% less donations. The Salvation Army attributes that to less people carrying cash, the closure of stores where kettles were traditionally set up, and less foot traffic in shopping areas.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Salvation Army is asking people to make donations online or send a check to:

Massachusetts Salvation Army Corps
25 Shawmut Road
Canton, MA 02021

CBSBoston.com Staff