The Salvation Army encouraging volunteers, donations be made ahead of the holiday season to combat increased need

Central Illinois Newsday

PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — The holiday season is beginning early as the anticipation is higher for those in need this year due to the pandemic. The Salvation Army Corp is starting its annual holiday fundraising campaign ahead of time in order to ‘rescue Christmas.’

“To help ensure that no one goes without assistance during the holidays, we are launching our national ‘Rescue Christmas’ campaign as an effort to raise public awareness of the profound need that we are seeing. These funds raised during the kettle campaign help place presents under the tree, put food on the table, help to pay bills, and providing shelter for those without a home”

Major Jesse Collins, Tri-County Commander for The Salvation Army

Because of a number of factors related to COVID-19 — including social-distancing rules, fewer holiday shoppers at stores, and greater demand for assistance — The Salvation Army expects that contributions to its iconic Red Kettles will drop substantially.

Since March when the pandemic began impacting the economy, The Salvation Army has continued to be there for communities:

  • In Peoria, they provided more than 110,000 meals, which included 76,200 meals served to Peoria Public School District 150 children served by Peoria Citadel; served more than 2,600 people through the food pantry; provided more than 8,000 nights of safe shelter; provided emotional and spiritual support to nearly 500 people in need. 
  • In Canton, they provided more than 16,000 meals, served more than 5,000 people through the food pantry, and provided emotional and spiritual support to over 1,000 people in need.
  • In Pekin, they expanded their food pantry days to reach more people; provided more than 400 food boxes to families during a one-day drive-through food distribution event; continue to provide shelter through their emergency shelter; and continue to provide emotional and spiritual support to people in the community.

If you are interested in joining their efforts to Rescue Christmas, contact Kathy Anderson, Peoria Development Director, at or call at (309) 339-3849 for additional information on how you can make a difference for those in need this holiday season in the Tri-County area.

You can also reach out to one of the following officers if you’re interested in making a donation or volunteering at one of their Community Centers:

  • Peoria Citadel:  Major Heath Sells at (309) 696-2614, located at 2903 W. Nebraska, Peoria
  • Pekin Corps: Capt. Brandon Lewis at (309) 613-3021, located at 243 Derby St, Pekin
  • Canton Corps: Capt. Sarah Eddy at (309) 647-0732, located at 176 S. 1st Ave, Canton

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