Kettle Kickoff

The Salvation Army anticipates increase in Christmas assistance due to COVID-19. 

Tulsa World file

Christmas always comes early at The Salvation Army, but this year the local non-profit is anticipating an even greater need this holiday season due to COVID-19.

They started an early call for volunteers on LEON Day, which was Thursday, June 25. LEON Day, which is NOEL spelled backwards, traditionally marks six months until Christmas Day. The Salvation Army celebrates this National Day every year by getting a head start on registering volunteers for Christmas.

With families across Green Country impacted by the pandemic, The Salvation Army has been helping many get back on their feet through emergency financial assistance. In just a matter of months, the need will shift toward Christmas Assistance. There are spots for businesses & groups to sign-up as Corporate Angel Tree sponsors. In addition, there will be an increased need for more individuals to adopt angels online and at local retailers. Last year, 3,001 families were served through the Angel Tree program, and that number could rise this year.

The Salvation Army tries to have some toys and gifts readily stocked in the Joy Center to fill the angels who do not end up getting adopted, but the Angel Tree program relies heavily on community involvement. Last year The Salvation Army had to fill 1,000 angels that did not get adopted by the public. At this time, the Angel Tree family registration process is being evaluated to determine what changes may need to be made due to COVID-19.

Anyone interested in registering to volunteer this Christmas as a Corporate Angel Tree sponsor or Bell Ringer can sign-up online at www.salarmytulsa.org.

​Kirk McCracken 918-581-8315

kirk.mccracken@sandspringsleader.com