CHICAGO (WLS) -- The iconic sounds of holiday bells can be heard earlier than usual this year.
The Salvation Army's red kettle fundraising campaign launched in September, two months ahead of the normal schedule.
The charity says they have seen a 500% increase in need over the last year.
Captain Xavier Montenegro joined ABC7 to talk about the change and heightened needs during the pandemic. He said it has been a difficult year and the Salvation Army hopes to "rescue Christmas" for people who are struggling.
Due to decreased foot traffic during the pandemic, the charity is directing anyone who wants to donate to the website salarmychristmas.org
"Because the need is so great, we want to be able to support people not only during the holiday season, but throughout the year," Montenegro said.
Salvation Army gets early start on fundraising to "rescue Christmas" during pandemic