It might look like the Salvation Army is enjoying a boom in donations, but local Angel Tree organizers said donations and the number of families who registered for the Christmas gifting program have been down since 2020. The pandemic depressed registrations, officials said, because people could no longer register in person. When COVID-19 hit early in 2020, Salvation Army had to register children and families online, and many families didn’t know how to get the code needed to register.

Salvation Army officials said that while the donation period for toys and items is closed, locals who want to make a difference should donate money to the annual Red Kettle campaign. Bell ringers are accepting monetary donations at Walmart locations on Loop 288 and University Drive in Denton, Hobby Lobby in Denton and elsewhere in the area.

The Salvation Army accepts financial contributions all year, but gets the bulk of its budget for programs, staffing and expenses in December.

— Staff report

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