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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Walmart teams up with Salvation Army of NWA to help 'rescue Christmas'

They are expanding programs like Angel Tree and Red Kettles, which will be out earlier, and for the first time ever, round-up donations in-store and online.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — To help meet the unprecedented level of need this holiday season, Walmart and The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas are working together to make it even easier for people to help others this Christmas. 

Walmart and The Salvation Army are bringing hope and joy to families through the expansion of programs like Angel Tree and Red Kettles, which will be out earlier, and, for the first time ever, round-up donations to The Salvation Army in-store and online.

The economic fallout of the ongoing health crisis has led to a new population of families and individuals facing unemployment and financial hardships that are expected to last through the holidays and well into the coming year. 

A recent study by Columbia University showed that nearly 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty since May. 

In Northwest Arkansas, the Salvation Army of NWA served 9,516 people last year. Through September 31, 2020, The Salvation Army of NWA has served 15,335 people. With that in mind, both organizations are making it easier for customers to give to those in need this Christmas.

“The pandemic has taken away so much from so many. And it threatens to take even more," said Captain Joshua Robinett, Northwest Arkansas Area Commander. "That’s why we are so grateful to have the increases support from Walmart this year, so that we can step in and help families as the needs increase.” 

In Walmart stores across Northwest Arkansas, the expanded partnership includes:

  • Walmart will offer customers the option to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar and donate the difference to The Salvation Army. Customers can do this in stores at manned cash registers, on Walmart.com or through the Walmart app. The option to donate began on November 2 and will run through December 31.
  • The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles and iconic bell ringers will be at participating Walmart stores even earlier this year, starting on Saturday, November 21. The Salvation Army is adopting nationally mandated safety protocols for physical kettles to help ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors and partners. Bell ringers will also be at select Sam’s Clubs across Northwest Arkansas. To volunteer to be a bell ringer, visit www.registertoring.com.
  • Salvation Army Angel Trees have appeared in participating Walmart stores, giving local shoppers the opportunity to select a child or children from the tree and to purchase or drop off gifts onsite.
  • Those who prefer to do their shopping online can visit salvationarmyusa.org/walmart-angel-tree to find their closest Angel Tree Registry, either in-store or online. Through the site, customers can shop for gifts and have them delivered directly to a local Salvation Army.
  • Celebrities like DJ Khaled have taken up the #RescueChristmas Challenge, encouraging others to adopt an angel from The Salvation Army Angel Tree program in their hometown.

Visit RescueChristmas.org to donate or learn more about how you can help The Salvation Army this year. If you need services or know of someone in need, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org to find a location near you.

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