JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Salvation Army is preparing for a different holiday season. Major Jim Lawrence says flexibility is key for the organization, not just in the opportunities for people to give, but also for the volunteers.
When bell ringers set up shop starting Friday, Nov. 20, the protocol will look different. The sign and kettle will be 15 feet away from the front entrance of a given store.
Each volunteer will be given a COVID kit with PPE, including a branded, disposable mask, gloves, an apron, and disinfectants.
The kettle and the sign will be cleaned daily. Volunteers are asked to stand at least six feet away from the sign, and they cannot approach any donor that comes up.
“It’s a lot different than it has been in the past," Major Lawrence said.
Lawrence added that for those who may not want to touch the kettle, opportunities are available to give via Apple Pay or Google Pay.
Lawrence said that these steps are all part of the effort to give people opportunities to give in a safe way.
“This is a difficult time for all of us," Major Lawrence said. "It’s a time that we all need to pitch in together and make sure that the needs of our senior citizens and [the] needs of our poor are taken care of.”
Lawrence says the need has increased in the community. He says more people have come in looking for help with rent, bills, and hunger.
Every dollar collected in the kettle supports the efforts of the Salvation Army to help those in need, including sheltering the homeless, offering emergency financial assistance, and providing toys to disadvantaged children.
The Salvation Army will be set up around Jonesboro from Nov. 20 to Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.