Salvation Army Angel Tree program helps more than 250 families with food, Christmas gifts

Salvation Army Lt. Paula Blevins (left) checks in a recipient of the Angel Tree food and gift program while Sandy O’Kelley prepares to put a box of food into the car.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Salvation Army of Rome is seeing requests for services rise to an all-time high and is in need of help from donors like never before.

The nonprofit serves Floyd, Polk and Chattooga counties.

This holiday season’s iconic red kettle campaign has fewer volunteers ringing bells and officials say revenue may not be sufficient to meet the magnitude of the needs. The Salvation Army of Rome is asking donors to consider how they can provide help and hope during the remainder of the holiday season.

“Since the beginning of COVID-19, we have had more requests for various kinds of assistance due to people losing their jobs temporarily or permanently, thereby having difficulty with providing for housing, utilities, and food for their families,” Lt. Paula Blevins said.

So far, they’ve assisted approximately 30% more people in calendar year 2020 than in 2019.

“Due to various reasons, there were many needs that we were unable to meet. We expect this trend to continue into at least part of 2021,” Blevins said.

How you can help:

The best way to ensure The Salvation Army’s vital services continue in Rome is with a sustaining monthly gift of $25 at: https://give.salvationarmygeorgia.org/give/302724/#!/donation/checkout?c_src=20CHISM

Also, the red kettles will be out in the communities until approximately 2 p.m. on Dec. 24. To help ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors and partners, The Salvation Army has adopted nationally mandated safety protocols.

Donate digitally with Apple Pay or Google Pay at any red kettle in Floyd, Polk, or Chattooga.

Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specifying the amount.

Give any amount by texting “KETTLES” to 91999.

Visit www.salvationarmygeorgia.org/rome to donate to the Rome Virtual Red Kettle or to learn more about other ways to help. Blevins said all gifts stay within the three counties.

End of the year contributions may also be made by mailing a check to The Salvation Army of Rome, P.O. Box 5188, Rome, GA 30162 or dropping off a contribution at the office located at 317 E. First Ave. in Rome.

The office will be closed Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1 for the holidays. Other than those days, hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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