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The Salvation Army starts giving campaign 100 days before Christmas

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Salvation Army chapters in Cedar Rapids and Waterloo/Cedar Falls have announced that they are gearing up their giving campaigns 100 days ahead of Christmas, as they project another tough holiday season for many.

There are still thousands in eastern Iowa impacted by pandemic-related poverty and at risk as the pandemic persists. There are more people that will need help to overcome the threat of eviction, especially as the weather starts getting colder. The Salvation Army is expecting another challenging season like last year and is calling on people to give back.

In the past year, there was a 169% increase in services that The Salvation Army in Cedar Rapids provided. Over the next year, the organization estimates it will need two million dollars to help those in need in Linn County.  

The Waterloo/Cedar Falls chapter has set a fundraising goal for the upcoming holiday season of $730,000.

“With the resurgence of COVID-19, The Salvation Army of Cedar Rapids anticipates requests for service to increase again this holiday season and into next year,” Captain Shawn DeBaar from The Salvation Army in Cedar Rapids said. “With the public’s generosity, The Salvation Army will continue to provide help and hope to thousands individuals and families in need right here in Cedar Rapids.” 

“Sometimes it’s the little milestones that need celebrated,” Grace Fee, Social Ministries Director at the Waterloo/Cedar Falls chapter said. “Our main goal when residents leave the shelter is that they are being relocated to a safe and reliable destination. Over the past year, 56% of shelter residents exited to a positive, safe, need-specific destination. We continue to provide emotional, spiritual, and financial assistance to those in need and as requests for assistance continues to grow, so does our need for monetary donations.”

Both chapters have given these ways that people can help those in need this season:

  • Enlist in Love's Army with a sustaining gift of $25 per month 
  • Visit SACedarRapids.org or registertoring.com and sign up to volunteer at a red kettle or distribute gifts to children in need 
    • The Salvation Army is applying national safety protocols at all red kettles to ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors, and partners  
  • Donate digitally with Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and Venmo at any red kettle across the country starting November 12th, 2021 
  • Donate cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Ethereum for the first year ever 
  • Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, "Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army," then specifying the amount 
  • Give any amount by texting "KETTLES" to 51555 
  • Provide new toys and clothing through The Salvation Army for local children of families in need