Pandemic changing how some local organizations raise funds for the upcoming Christmas season. ‘Christmas with a Cop’ and The Salvation Army depending on more virtual donations this year.

Pandemic changing how some local organizations raise funds for the upcoming Christmas season. ‘Christmas with a Cop’ and The Salvation Army depending on more virtual donations this year.

By Natalie Simms
nsimmshh@att.net

Last year’s Christmas with a Cop.

Like everyone, local non-profits have not been immune from the impacts of the COVID pandemic. With many fundraisers canceled and donations decreased, some organizations are depending on virtual donations to help meet local needs. This is especially true for the Coosa Valley Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) working to raise fund for the 2020 edition of Christmas with a Cop (formerly known as Shop with a Cop) and The Salvation Army of Rome’s efforts to ‘Rescue Christmas’.

“We raise money all year long, but because of the pandemic, we had to cancel some spring events,” says Sgt. Chris Fincher with Floyd County Police and president of Lodge 14 of Coosa Valley FOP.  “We are working with limited funds and we don’t want to shrink down from what we’ve done in the past.”

Last year, the Christmas with a Cop program helped provide Christmas gift for some 75 Rome and Floyd County children, plus children at two local shelters with $14,650 in donations. So far this year, the Coosa Valley FOP has sold t-shirts and is planning a Halloween bowling tournament for Oct. 31.

“The bowling tournament is very important. For every team that registers, we can sponsor one child. The entry fee is $200 and we spend that amount on each child and their family,” he says. “We also plan to keep selling t-shirts. Walmart in East Rome has given us permission to sell outside the store, so we will start doing that in a few weeks.

“Now is the time to push and raise the money. We really want to help these kids…I don’t want to shrink from last year, that isn’t fair to the kids. We just have to get out hustle more.”

Anyone interested in signing up a 4-person team for the bowling tournament scheduled for Oct. 31 form 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Floyd Bowling Center, can call 706-252-4226 or email coosavalleyfop14@gmail.com. General donations are also being accepted online via PayPal or can be dropped off at the Floyd County Police Department or by mailing a check to 3 Central Plaza, Box 143, Rome, Ga. For more: Coosa Valley FOP

The Salvation Army of Rome is launching a virtual Red Kettle campaign to help raise $25,000 to ‘Rescue Christmas’. Due to the pandemic, the Salvation Army has been dealing with several challenges with more needs for food and financial assistance (for rent and utilities) within the community coupled with projected shortfalls in funding. The traditional Red Kettle campaign is being adapted with fewer bell ringers than in years past.

“We plan to have some bell ringers out this year, but do not have all the locations secured yet,” says Lt. Paula Blevins, Corps Officer with The Salvation Army of Rome.

Instead, they are going virtual. It’s easy to donate, just go online or scan the QR code above to give. Donations will help provide assistance for non-perishable foods, clothing vouchers for needy, financial assistance and Christmas toys for children. For more: The Salvation Army of Rome

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