WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — COVID has changed almost everything we do. The Salvation Army’s Christmas programs are no exception. Yes, families and children will still be served but it will look a little different.
THE ANGEL TREE
This year, there will be Angel Trees up at stores, but not as many as usual. The Salvation Army recognizes not as many people are shopping in-person and would prefer to shop on-line.
“We have families that depend on us, we have children who will not have Christmas morning if we don't figure out what it looks like, so we have Angels available online. You can go online, select a child, shop online and have the gift delivered to our facility and we take care of processing it and getting it ready for the family,” said Major Andrew Wiley, Area Commander of the Salvation Army of Greater Winston-Salem Area.
The online set up allows you to choose a gender and age and then you get to see the Angel Tree tags and pick out the child you want to help.
You will see bell ringers out starting November 21st, a week earlier than last year, but probably not as many as you saw last year.
Again, a no-contact option is available, you hold your smartphone over the icons and give your donation using ApplePay or GooglePay.
New this year, you'll also be able to create an online kettle where individuals or a group can create a link and then share it to raise funds.
STUFF A STOCKING
This program had to be suspended for 2020.
“The stockings are handled many times, from the time they get out to donors they get back to stuffing the stocking, you're handling multiple items, there's a lot of contact. So we want to do Christmas with as little contact as possible and the stockings really do require a lot of contact. The other part of the challenge is the other partners are operating with their dining rooms not open, which means there would be no place to pick up or drop off a stocking,” said Wiley.
The deadline to apply for Christmas help in the triad has passed, but The Salvation Army continues to offer other kinds of help.