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With the pandemic putting millions of people out of work, the nation’s charities are trying to keep up with the demand. NBC’s Chris Pollone reports.
(NBC News) — For many Americans, this holiday season will be anything but merry and bright.
With the pandemic putting millions of people out of work, more and more are unable to pay for their homes or put food on their tables.
The nation’s charities are trying to keep up with the demand.
The Salvation Army has seen a 155-percent increase in people it serves while anticipating donations to its holiday red kettle drive will be cut in half.
They are hopeful people who can help out will give online, and give of their time, as well.
“We’re inviting people to go and to volunteer at their local Salvation Army, to perhaps take a few more decorations off of our Angel trees provide a presence for children,” Salvation Army Commander Kenneth Hodder says.
Faced with unique challenges, charities are doing everything they can to make it safe and easy for people to give.
People who use Coinstar coin-counting machines in supermarkets across the country have donated $125 million to charity, in change, over the past 20 years.
“All the consumer needs to do is walk up to the machine and select the charitable program that they’re interested in donating to and pour their change into the machine,” explains Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity.
In a year that has seen issues of race and inequality brought to the forefront, the company has added the NAACP to its list of charity partners.
Donations support the NAACP’s many missions, from encouraging children’s love of learning through academic competitions to fostering economic empowerment by supporting small business creation.
It turns out, all that change adds up.
“Any small currency that you’re able to given this holiday season is going to help us,” says the NAACP’s Trovon Williams.