SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A new report shows Americans are expected to give less to charity this holiday season due to inflation, but the need for donations is growing.
The Salvation Army is one organization feeling the pinch, and in Sacramento County alone, they expect to serve more than 10,000 people this Christmas season. Salvation Army leaders said they're making changes this year to make sure no one is left behind.
"We're reaching a point where we're at a critical need for volunteers," said Larry Carmichael, social service officer with the Salvation Army.
The iconic red kettles, which started in Northern California more than a century ago, might not be quite as full this year.
The Salvation Army of Sacramento has 120 red kettle locations, but as of Monday, it's only able to man 70 of them each day.
"We need another 40 to 50 volunteers on a daily basis now through Christmas Eve to help us pull off that fundraising effort," said Carmichael.
The need for donations of all kinds are growing. Before the pandemic, in 2019, the Salvation Army served one in 48 people in Sacramento County alone. In 2020, it was one in 20. For 2022, it's increased to one in 10.
"$400,000 is the amount of money that we need to raise this Christmas to continue on track with where we're at," said Carmichael.
Money raised during this period of time is stretched beyond providing food and toys during the holidays. Carmichael said it also aids with rental and utility assistance during the winter.
The Salvation Army is also extending its Christmas registration season to make sure families have Christmas dinner and some gifts under the tree.
"Normally we're done by now, but we know that families are in need. So we're going to keep that open until for at least another week or two until we hit our true max "max" on registrations," said Carmichael.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, inflation has cut into America's holiday giving spirit. Carmichael said if people are struggling and want to help, they can offer their time by bell ringing for their red kettles as a group and in shifts.
For more information on how to volunteer with the Salvation Army, click HERE.