Maj. Judy Lowder, corps officer for the Salvation Army in Jamestown, said the need is greater this year in the community than in previous years.
"We're seeing families that have never sought help before coming in this year," she said.
The Salvation Army is kicking off its holiday fundraising efforts in the next week. Between the bell-ringing campaign, donations through the mail and walk-in donations, it amounts to more the 50% of the annual budget of the organization, Lowder said.
Lowder said the goal for the Red Kettle Campaign this year is $60,000, which is an increase of about $5,000 from last year's goal that the community exceeded with its donations. The kettle campaign runs through Dec. 24 while mail-in donations are accepted through January.
Last year, when Thanksgiving fell late in November, it shortened the campaign season and caused early concern for the Salvation Army, although late donations pushed the organization past its fundraising goals.
Bell ringing will begin on Nov. 16 this year with three confirmed locations at Cash Wise, the Jamestown Business Center and a new location at Tractor Supply Co. Additional locations are possible pending approval by business managers, Lowder said.
"For us, the only real difference is the kettle ringers will have to wear masks and gloves," she said. "The gloves can be the normal winter gloves people would wear at an outdoor location or latex gloves if they are indoors."
Lowder said more donations are collected when there are people ringing the bells at the red kettle sites. The organization is also looking for volunteers to help transport people and kettles to the locations.
Bell ringing at Cash Wise will be outdoors this year while the other confirmed locations provide an indoor location for the bell ringer.
So far, there have been no volunteers for the bell-ringing duty. The Salvation Army is compiling lists of people and organizations for the task now. Lowder said she was concerned some people who normally volunteered would hesitate this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We prefer volunteers," she said. "Some Salvation Army locations hire bell ringers but we are hoping our volunteers step up again."
There are other ways for the public to help spread holiday cheer this season.
"Our angel tree locations are already up around town," Lowder said. "People pick a tag off the tree and buy a gift for a child in need in the area."
Angel trees are located at BluFrog Realty, Better Homes Realty, Premium Realty, Innovative Office Supplies, Vivacious Hair Salon, Gate City Bank, Stutsman Harley-Davidson, Century 21 Realty, Jamestown Business Center, Ameriprise and Sabir's Buffalo Grill.