WACO, Texas – Through the challenges 2020 has brought, the Salvation Army in Waco is continuing to give – but is serving more people than normal and are seeing less donations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Some of the people that normally would donate to the Salvation Army this time of year are coming and making applications for assistance,” says Major James Taylor, of the Waco Salvation Army.

Because of the pandemic, the folks at the Salvation Army lowered their expectations for donations after setting a goal at the beginning of the year. They were pleasantly surprised.

“I’ve actually been surprised at how well donations are going this year,” Taylor said. “People in Central Texas have just said, ‘We need to take care of our own.'”

Even with the unexpected support, they don’t think they’ll make the fundraising goal they set after raising $181,000 last year.

“In our budget, we have budgeted $185,000,” Taylor said. “We are gonna struggle to get $150,000 at this point.”

With less businesses being available for red kettle sites and a shorter time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Salvation Army not only needs donations – but also volunteers.

“It’s really important that the Salvation Army have volunteers to come out and ring bells for us,” Taylor said. “We are grateful to the merchants who have said, ‘You can put a red kettle stand outside of our store.’ And we’re grateful for that. And we do that every day that we can.”

For more information on how to get assistance from the Salvation Army or to donate, you can click here. To volunteer to be a bell ringer, you can click here.