Salvation Army of Cedar Rapids begins Christmas giving earlier than ever before

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 3:27 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Salvation Army of Cedar Rapids began their holiday giving earlier than ever before to help meet continued needs in the community.

12 days into their 100 days of giving campaign the Salvation Army of Cedar Rapids hopes to spread the word and get the community involved this upcoming holiday season.

“We know that it is more important than ever before, that we engage our community to once again support the needs of those in our community through the Salvation Army,” said Captian Shawn Debaar, Salvation Army Corps Officer.

The early fundraising comes after they saw a 169% increase in the need for their services in Linn County.

" A lot of people don’t realize that’s being done here five days a week at the core, and it takes quite a few people to staff that,” said Dixie Knake, a Salvation Army Volunteer.

They’ve continued to provided meals, food boxes, utility and rent assistance, as well as emotional care sessions to the local community through the pandemic and derecho recovery.

“Ever since last Christmas, we’ve never stopped seeing the need right before us related to both the pandemic and the derecho. And so there’s no better way or any better reason to start early than the fact that we’re still helping people. And we know that we’re going to potentially see an increase,” said Captain Debaar.

Captain Debaar says last year they surpassed their holiday fundraising by $250,000. While they have not set their goal this year Debaar says they know they will have to budget for the increased need.

“We do anticipate this next year, our annual operating budget will require an expenditure of roughly $2 million. And during the Christmas season, we do attempt to raise a majority of that,” said Captain Debaar.

The Salvation Army has not yet set its fundraising goal for the upcoming season but says they expect to do so by November. Monetary donations are welcome, as well as volunteering time with the organization this holiday season.

“There are extra needs here in the community to be served and for volunteers to step up and give themselves in and in a way that we’re serving grace to our community, not asking why they’re in that situation or judging people. But here, we’re here to help you through a tough time,” said Knake.

Click here to donate or sign up to volunteer with the Salvation Army of Cedar Rapids.

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