Courtesy of Goodman PR
In a time of unprecedented health and employment challenges, the South Florida community stepped-up in a big way to help The Salvation Army of Broward County “Rescue Christmas” and provide hope and joy to thousands of underserved families.
The Salvation Army had 288 Bell Ringers (188 employed; 100 volunteers) in 80 locations in Broward County and raised $320,215 – more than a 33% increase over the same period last year, in less than five weeks in November and December 2020. This effort was bolstered by a National Commander’s Red Kettle Walmart Challenge that brought out state and local government officials to assist with fundraising including State Representative Bobby DuBose, Fort Lauderdale City Manager Chris Lagerbloom, City of Fort Lauderdale’s Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr, PIO Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan, Cooper City District Fire Chief Bruce Caruso, and many other valued civil servants.
Over 100 corporations and small businesses participated in the annual Angel Tree Initiative including Anda, Inc., City Furniture, Pediatric Associates, Bankers Health Group, and Comcast. The Salvation Army of Broward County distributed 7,566 gifts to 1,114 families with 2,483 children at this year’s drive-through Holiday Toy Shop, assisted by Florida Panthers and Starbucks volunteers.
“The Salvation Army’s call for help to ‘Rescue Christmas’ in 2020 was answered with unprecedented generosity by individuals and corporate partners this holiday season,” said Major Stephen Long, area commander for The Salvation Army of Broward County. “Despite the hardships that COVID-19 imposed, we were blessed to be able to meet the Broward community’s greater need without missing a beat. We are grateful to our loyal supporters and we look forward to continuing our mission to serve the community in 2021.”
Even with social distancing requirements, The Salvation Army managed to assemble hundreds of free Thanksgiving takeaway meals for families with few resources and seasonal hardships. This is in addition to its ongoing weekly free food pantry and meals-to-go services that nourished thousands of residents, those experiencing homelessness, and other impoverished individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to “meeting human needs without discrimination.” Since 1926, The Salvation Army has been active in Broward County serving thousands of our most needy community members. Today, it offers a number of vital programs including its Economic Stability Program, the Open Door Project emergency shelter, a food pantry, transitional family housing, New Beginnings for pregnant homeless women and disaster services. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/FortLauderdale or call (954) 524-6991.