Dropping coins into Red Kettles on the way into the store used to seem so simple, but now with a coin shortage and a pandemic, the Salvation Army has to find a new way to accomplish its mission of helping hundreds of East Texas families.

Last year the Salvation Army raised $126 million through about 30,000 red kettles across America, and this year they're only expecting to bring in half that amount.  The demand for services is way up, and the donations are way down.  That's a pickle, and it's exactly why the Salvation Army needs us to come through.

They assume shoppers will be carrying less cash and coins this holiday season because we don't want to touch anything anymore, not even money, and there's also a shortage of coins with fewer quarters, nickels, and dimes in circulation.  If you have a swear jar full of change, now might be a good time to empty it into the East Texas economy.

With restrictions on retail stores, there's been a decline in foot traffic too, so there may not be as many people walking by Red Kettles this holiday season on their way to shop.  Because of all this, the Salvation Army is starting early with fundraising this year and they're doing it online.

The NY Post said the Salvation Army is launching its “Rescue Christmas” fundraising campaign early this year because the pandemic has created more pressure than ever.  "Since March, the Salvation Army has provided more than 100 million meals, 1.5 million nights of safe shelter and emotional and spiritual support to more than 800,000 people."  Wow.

The Rescue Christmas campaign has digital payment options, including via Apple Pay or Google Pay at any red kettle across the country, through Amazon Alexa, or by texting “KETTLE” to 91999.  The more money they raise, the more families they can help.  With a push now, more kids will have gifts under trees this Christmas.

The Salvation Army of Tyler also has a golf tournament coming up Monday, September 28, and proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Angel Tree Program.  The Tees Off For Toys golf tournament will be at Hideaway Lake Golf Course.