Salvation Army changes protocol amid COVID-19, but continues giving this holiday season

Salvation Army changes protocol amid COVID-19, but continues giving this holiday season

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - COVID-19 changed Thanksgiving plans for so many this year and that’s no different for non-profits.

The Salvation Army knew they wanted to continue serving Thanksgiving meals, but also wanted to do it safely so they made some changes.

It’s a Thanksgiving tradition, turkey, green beans, gravy and more stacked on a plate and handed out.

“I’m looking forward to maybe some turkey dressing in there,” said Ben Harris.

While it’s something we all know and love, Salvation Army had to shift their giving because of COVID-19. While those staying at the shelter shared the meal together, others could pick up a hot meal to go. More than a dozen volunteers signed up in shifts to help safely prepare and hand out the food.

“This is the first year I wanted to just give back to the community,” said Matthew Schultz, Volunteer. “I am fortunate to have a good job and I am healthy and a family to be thankful for and so I just wanted to give back.”

And that giving meant a lot to those who came through like Ben. He says it’s not only the food that he’s thankful for, but the fellowship during this time of isolation.

“To be coming out with and being among other people you know because when I am home I’ve just got me and the four walls and the TV and the radio so yes this is, the communal thing it’s inspiring,” Ben Harris.

While they were busy handing out Thanksgiving meals they are already thinking ahead to rescue Christmas. They know this year they might have to serve 155% more people in our community because of the pandemic.

Their bell ringing has already begun. Though they have about half the collection sites this year because of COVID-19 they are looking to raise 300,000 dollars to help families who are hurting this year. It’s a big goal that requires not only donations, but volunteers.

“You know I would challenge everyone to find a way in their own way to volunteer the Salvation Army is always looking for help,” said Matthew Schultz. “I know they are looking for bell ringers later on in the year and that’s something else I was planning on doing as well. Just finding in your own way to do it whether it’s in their church or their own local groups or in their neighborhoods just checking on their neighbors everyone’s just look out for each other.”

The giving season is just getting underway and the salvation army says this year more than ever they know their help will be needed and they can’t do it without you. If you want to help “do the most good” you can sign up to help or donate online.

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