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The Salvation Army aims to help more than 9,000 children this Christmas

The Salvation Army of Hampton Roads said they are still looking for several volunteers. They said it’s become a major challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The holiday season is officially here and the red kettles and angel trees are coming out across Hampton Roads.

On Friday, leaders with The Salvation Army started the “Christmas Kickoff” at Lynnhaven Mall. 13News Now is a proud sponsor for more than 35 years.

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“I’ll tell ya, last night I had a hard time sleeping. It’s kind of like for me and our staff it’s like a child before Christmas right,” Major Donald Dohmann said.

Dohmann said it’s his favorite time of the year because it’s now time for people to give back to others.

He explained, “Just to know how much love and support our community will give The Salvation Army and more importantly these angels and the families.”

This year, The Salvation Army needs help providing gifts for about 9,000 children across Hampton Roads, which is about a 20 percent increase from last year.

Dohmann said, “3,000 families have requested assistance for their child so 9,000 children are counting on us to provide Christmas this year.”

Anyone can become a sponsor or pick a child off a tree at several locations including Lynnhaven Mall, Greenbrier Mall, Wegmans and several Coastal Edge locations.

“These next two months, we will help over 20,000 people,” said Dohmann.

Volunteers said they are making it their mission to help as many children as possible.

RELATED: 13News Now Vault: Salvation Army's Angel Tree program dates back to 1979

If you pick up a tag from a Christmas tree, leaders with The Salvation Army ask you to return it to the tree by Dec. 8. If that doesn’t work, you can drop the gift off at The Salvation Army Christmas Depot at Military Circle Mall by Dec. 10.

The Salvation Army is also looking for volunteers. If you’d like to donate your time, click here.

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