MIAMI (CBSMiami/CBS) – For more than a century, The Salvation Army’s iconic red kettles that are out during the holiday season have helped families in need year-round.
Now the annual bell-ringing campaign is facing new challenges with the coronavirus pandemic.READ MORE: Research Shows Significant Disparities For Black Women In Breast Cancer Detection & Treatment
This year, The Salvation Army is helping care for millions more. Commissioner Kenneth Hodder says the need for their services has jumped 155 percent nationwide.
That includes the Nunez family in New York. Sara Gonzalez-Nunez contracted the coronavirus in the spring and later lost her job.
“I could barely breathe, I had so much medication,” she said. “You can’t say good morning, except through a door and it’s sad.”
Now, the family of longtime volunteers is leaning on The Salvation Army for support.READ MORE: 'They Don't Know The Truth': Ex-School Resource Officer Scot Peterson Defends Actions During Parkland School Shooting
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The organization faces a challenging holiday season for its Red Kettle Campaign.
“There are fewer locations for the kettle because there’s less foot traffic. The coin shortage. Some of the local shutdowns as a result of the pandemic will all combine to reduce the amount that we receive from the red kettle by about $60 million across the country,” Hodder says.
The Salvation Army is making it easier for donors to give with ‘Kettle Pay.’ You can either tap your phone or scan the QR code to make a digital donation.MORE NEWS: Miami Judge Sends Former President Donald Trump's Suit Against Twitter To California
Kettles continue to roll out across the country this week, and they still accept cash and coins.