For the first time in 130 years, The Salvation Army is starting its annual holiday fundraising campaign early across the country in order to help rescue Christmas for those suffering during this time. The funds raised through the organization’s iconic red kettles are at risk this year due to COVID-19, while requests for services are at an all-time high.
Based on the increase in services already provided in response to the pandemic, the organization could serve up to 155 percent more people in 2020 with Christmas assistance, including putting food on the table, providing shelter and helping place gifts under the tree – assuming the resources are available. In Charlotte, we served more than 23,000 people last year, a substantial number of those seeking help during the holiday season.
At the same time, due to the closing of retail stores, consumers carrying less cash and coins, and the decline in foot traffic, The Salvation Army could see up to a 50-percent decrease in funds raised nationally through the red kettles, which would limit its capability to provide services for the most vulnerable. To put this in perspective, last year $126 million was raised nationally through about 30,000 red kettles. Locally, The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte raised around $225,000 in its physical red kettle program.
“We recognize that people are struggling in our community, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Major Todd Mason, area commander for The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte. “This Christmas, we expect to see a surge in requests for help, and we stand ready to answer that call – to rescue people in need and give them hope this holiday season.”
Since March, The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte has provided more than 120,000 meals, 70,000 nights of safe shelter, and ongoing emotional and spiritual support to people in need. Now more than ever, it’s safer and simpler to donate in order to support the most vulnerable.
- Give online at SalvationArmyCharlotte.org/kettle
- Take the #RedKettleChallenge and start your own digital Red Kettle fundraiser. Details at SalvationArmyCharlotte.org/redkettlechallenge
- Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specifying the amount.
- Give any amount by texting “KETTLES” to 91999.
Every donation provides help and hope to those in need, and all gifts stay within the community in which they are given. You can also visit RescueChristmas.org to donate or learn more about how you can help The Salvation Army rescue Christmas this year.