ME Santa

M.E. SANTA

The role of concerned individuals and groups like those supporting the Middlesex East Santa has never been more important than during this time of COVID-19 concerns.

The Red Kettles are in their usual places to give to The Salvation Army during this holiday season, however, the people walking past the kettles are just not there! So, “Hello, M.E. Santa.”

Like everything else these days, “Plan B” seems to be more in vogue than ever.

In fact, the message from the Salvation Army goes something like this:

“Your gift helps Rescue Christmas for the most vulnerable. With more people facing poverty this upcoming season, your generosity is needed more than ever. Your donation helps provide the essential gifts of food, shelter, and hope to those hurting right here in your community. Thanks for giving - M.E. Santa asks community to support local charity.”

Also, there’s a warm way to get rid of the cold feeling in this unseasonal, early arrival of cold weather this year,

i.e. donate to the M.E. Santa, sponsored by Middlesex East and its 10 communities enjoying its news

coverage.

The M.E. Santa has had great support over the years and is in its 31st year of asking subscribers to reach out and put a donation in this extended Red Kettle over the holiday season.

The Salvation Army kicked off its Red Kettle donation season Friday, November 13th in Massachusetts and the Red Kettles are eye-catchers at area supermarkets, shopping malls, MBTA’s transit lines, as well as many other locations to reach out to get the maximum support for those in need this holiday season.

In fact, the nation’s largest social-services organization launched its iconic holiday fundraising campaign earlier than ever to meet increasing need.

Over last weekend, The Salvation Army’s Massachusetts Division reported only 500 of the 1,000 Red Kettles would be put out. In addition, the $2.6 million collected is expected to be cut in half.

For the first time in 130 years, The Salvation Army started its annual holiday fundraising campaign early in order to “Rescue Christmas.”

The funds raised through the organization’s iconic Red Kettles are at risk this year due to COVID-19 while requests for services are at an all-time high, report officials at their national office.

Salvation Army officials note that based on the increase in services already provided in response to the pandemic, the organization could serve up to 155 percent more people in 2020 with Christmas assistance, including putting food on the table, paying bills, providing shelter and helping place gifts under the tree – assuming the resources are available.

At the same time, due to the closing of retail stores, consumers carrying less cash and coins, and the decline in foot traffic, The Salvation Army could see up to a 50 percent decrease in funds raised through the Red Kettles, which would limit their capability to provide services for the most vulnerable. To put this in perspective, last year $126 million was raised through about 30,000 Red Kettles.

“Our ability to raise vital funds to serve those in need this Christmas and beyond is at risk,” said Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder, National Commander of The Salvation Army. “We need everyone who has the capacity to come alongside us and ensure that the holiday season is bright for millions. We’re asking you to help rescue Christmas with us by providing support in any way you can. Our hope is to offset these challenges to meet the increasing demand for services across our nation.”

Since March, The Salvation Army USA has provided more than 100 million meals, 1.5 million nights of safe shelter, and emotional and spiritual support to over 800,000 people. Now more than ever, they’re making it safer and simpler to donate in order to support the most vulnerable in the nation.

Based in Canton, Senior Field Representative Michael Skoog “makes the rounds” and regularly visits with M.E. representatives in the drive. He also visits with many who are constant as well as great donation communities over the holiday period. “You people have been great,” notes Skoog, who has built a strong relationship with the M.E. Santa and leadership with M.E. communities. “It is a successful grassroots program.”

The Salvation Army exists to meet human needs without discrimination in every zip code across the United States, the Salvation Army leadership points out. “When you give, your donation directly benefits folks in need throughout your local community.”

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow them on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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