PORTLAND — With the resurgence of the pandemic, the Salvation Army is digging in for another challenging season of need, as thousands of people continue to struggle with rental assistance and the rising cost of fuel and food.

The Salvation Army aims for its annual Christmas Kettle Campaign to mean a brighter holiday season for struggling men, women and children in Maine.

The charitable organization expects to have more than 90 red kettles throughout the state on street corners and shopping areas through Friday, Dec. 24. People can donate digitally with Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and Venmo at any red kettle this year.

The Salvation Army’s Christmas ministry includes the distribution of items such as toys for needy youngsters, food baskets and food vouchers, and warm winter coats during the rest of the year. Last year more than 11,000 individuals were served in Maine by the Salvation Army during the holidays and 19,240 throughout the year.

Those unable to make it to a kettle can donate or volunteer thru the options listed below.

• Visit salvationarmynne.org and sign up to volunteer at a red kettle or distribute Angel Tree gifts to children in need;

• The Salvation Army is applying national safety protocols at all red kettles to ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors, and partners;

• Provide Christmas gifts to children of local families in need through the Salvation Army Angel Tree or Adopt a Family program;

• Visit walmart.com/registry/registryforgood to purchase toys and clothing;

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

• Visit give.salvationarmy.org/virtualkettle; and

• Give any amount by texting “KETTLES” to 51555.

Every donation helps hope march on for those in need, and all gifts stay within the community in which they are given.

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