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INDIANAPOLIS — Christmas Eve is the last day to donate to the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign.

The Salvation Army tell says this year has been difficult with an increase in needs but also a decrease in volunteers due to the pandemic.

The Indiana divisional commander, Major Marc Johnson, said this year they’ve seen such an increase in people needing help for the first time, whether they lost their jobs or had fallen on hard times due to the pandemic.

The biggest increase he says has been for people needing food and rental assistance.

This year, they started the Red Kettle campaign earlier than ever before to give themselves a learning curve for operating during the pandemic.

Major Johnson says they traditionally raise a significant amount of money on Christmas Eve and are hoping for the same this year. He says donations stay local and are used right here in our area, and the money they get Thursday will help throughout the year.

“The Salvation Army operates and is available 365 days a year for disasters, emergencies,” explained Major Johnson. “Those types of assistance don’t always come up at convenient times. So we’re there to respond, and your donation and support right now helps us be there to meet need at the point of need.”

Thanks to several donors this year, all donations are being matched up to $118,000. They’ve used up about 75% of that match money thus far and are hoping to hit their goal Thursday and get the full benefit.

Click here to donate to the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign.