HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The holidays are about giving but the pandemic is standing in the way of some traditional fundraisers. This year the Harrisburg Salvation Army is doing something different.
On Thursday night the Salvation Army was lit up by 50 Christmas trees as part of their Be the Light fundraiser. Kathy Anderson-Martin organized the event.
“The opportunity to raise money for the Salvation Army by groups who sponsor trees. But also have the community come together for something positive and just be the light for our community,” Anderson-Martin said.
The event is new this year, brought on by pandemic challenges.
“We created this event because we expect some real challenges with our red kettle campaign. So we just couldn’t sit and wait to see what would happen. So we came together, did some brainstorming and said what could we do?” Anderson-Martin said.
They raised about 50 thousand dollars with the fundraiser. It’s money they need now more than ever.
“During the past 30 some weeks of emergency disaster services for covid relief we have provided food for over half a million meals. We did 250,000 meals all of last year,” Anderson-Martin said.
Jeff Piccola was one of the people who bought a tree.
“My tree is in memory of my wife and my mother. My mother recently passed away and my wife passed away 4 years ago. Two special ladies,” Piccola said.
In a time full of challenges donations like his provide help for families in need.
“I like to honor their memories in ways that are meaningful. And to do it with the Salvation Army, to benefit the Salvation Army just means a whole lot more to me to be able to do that,” Piccola said.
The Salvation Army said the fundraiser was so successful they’re planning to bring it back next year.