DES MOINES, Iowa — For many Iowans, this holiday season will come down to doing more with less. For groups like the Salvation Army, the pandemic is making it difficult to help the less fortunate.
“While all these things are down and challenging, our need to raise money at the kettles is even greater. More people than ever are needing help,” said Tamyra Harrison, who serves as public relations coordinator at Salvation Army of Des Moines.
Harrison hopes COVID-19 protocols can alleviate concerns that may be preventing people from volunteering or donating this holiday season. Volunteers can sign up through Dec. 23 and will be socially distanced from the kettles so donors can feel comfortable dropping off money. They will also be given masks and a clean bell for each shift. A virtual kettle has also been created for online donations at desmoinesredkettle.org.
The pandemic has left plenty of families without money to have a typical Christmas, and Harrison believes Iowans will step up to fill the unprecedented need to help other Iowans. The Salvation Army of Des Moines says this year’s goal is lofty but necessary because of the hardships COVID-19 has created.
“We are trying to get to a million dollars. That’s our goal. It’s an ambitious goal, but we also know that Iowans step up. When the need is there, we step up and we help our friends and neighbors,” Harrison said.
The Salvation Army is also looking for volunteers to hand out toys and food cards to families Dec. 14-18 at the Polk County River Place. To volunteer, call 515-282-3599.