The Salvation Army expects requests for its help at Christmas to soar this year because of the strains the coronavirus pandemic has placed on families and vulnerable individuals.

The local Salvation Army served 360 children in Glynn and McIntosh counties last year and expects nearly 560 will need help during the upcoming holiday season, said Sgt. Pamela Starr in a release.

Nearly half of low-income Americans report that they or someone in their household has lost income this year, the release said.

The Salvation Army already has helped more than 1,000 families and individuals with food, rent and utilities in the Golden Isles, the release said.

The greater need comes at a time when the Salvation Army anticipates a decline in revenue from its iconic red kettle Christmas fundraising campaign.

With some retail stores closed, some former red kettle collection points are gone and there is less foot traffic at those that remain open, the release said. Also, unemployment continues to increase, and surveys show about 60 percent of consumers are carrying less cash and pocket change that they could drop in the kettles.

The Salvation Army relies on nearly $50,000 from the Red Kettle campaign in November and December to sustain its local Red Shield Shelter, social services and food pantry.

Those who want to ensure the services will continue should consider enlisting in “Love’s Army’’ with a monthly gift of $25. People are also asked to donate gifts in bulk or adopt more “angels” in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program that provides toys and other gifts to the needy at Christmas.

Those who wish to help should visit the website www.salvationarmybrunswick.org.

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