Former first lady Laura Bush asks Texas, nation to ‘give the gift of hope’ after COVID-19

Former first lady Laura Bush is asking her fellow Texans and people across the country to help a little more than usual this holiday season following the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s clear this year the needs of Americans is great,” Bush said in taped comments posted on Thanksgiving to her social media accounts. “The pandemic of COVID-19 and its impact will be felt during the holiday season.”

Bush, a Dallas resident, made the appeal for The Salvation Army’s “Rescue Christmas” campaign. The Salvation Army expects to serve 155% more people this year with Christmas assistance — assuming the resources are available.

“This year, they need extra help to meet the extra need,” she said. “Together, we can bring joy to all Americans and those who need it the most.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the Salvation Army has served more than 100 million meals; distributed millions in financial assistance for rent/mortgage; provided 1.6 million nights of shelter; and offered emotional and spiritual care to more than 865,000 Americans, according to a news release coordinated with the release of Bush’s comments.

Bush isn’t the only Dallasite encouraging people to give to the Salvation Army this year. On Wednesday, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson shared on Twitter a photo of him and his son, William, donating to the nonprofit.

Donations to the Salvation Army will stay in the community, Bush said. Individuals can donate at rescuechristmas.org. North Texans needing assistance this year can contact the local Salvation Army at salvationarmyntx.org or by calling 214-424-7050.

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