The Salvation Army’s Del Oro Division, which serves Northern California and Northern Nevada, has provided more than a million meals and food boxes since March 2020 in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The nonprofit organization has also provided shelter, rent and utility assistance, childcare, emotional and spiritual care, and personal protective equipment to thousands of families and individuals in need throughout its service area, which includes Yuba and Sutter counties.
“The Salvation Army has historically adapted in times of difficulty to meet the needs of all people who seek assistance, and COVID-19 is no exception,” said Major Ivan Wild, Salvation Army divisional commander, in a press release. “Since the first stay-at-home orders back in March 2020, the Salvation Army has made quick and innovative changes to continue its service.”
Wild said the organization transitioned to drive-thru food distributions when the need arose; provided childcare for first responders and essential workers; and provided hope and spiritual care to those who felt isolated and alone, among other things.
Many of the nonprofit’s services went virtual in order to meet the needs of the community, including a virtual summer camp for children. The nonprofit also created virtual red kettles to allow and encourage donors to continue giving online during the holiday season to make up for fewer in-person kettles at stores and on street corners.
In a year when the Salvation Army expected a drop in holiday donations, the local division actually saw a 33 percent increase in the number of donations and a 36 percent increase in the total funds raised compared to last year.
“I could not be more proud of our officers, staff and volunteers who give of themselves every day to ensure the needs of the community are met,” Wild said in a press release. “The Del Oro Division also has wonderful donors who sacrificially give so that our programs can continue to serve the needed. Together we are making a difference.”