ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — With just three days left in the iconic Red Kettle Campaign, The Salvation Army, which serves over 30 million Americans each year, is urging supporters to donate. Due to the impacts of COVID-19, gifts to red kettles are pacing $14 million behind 2019 donations. A herculean effort is needed this week to ensure that funds are available for people who seek help from The Salvation Army in 2021.

After seeing significant spikes in requests for assistance during the spring and summer, the country’s largest social service provider started its 130-year-old Red Kettle Campaign earlier than ever, introducing safer and simpler ways to give online and in person in hopes of staving off an anticipated 50 percent decrease in donations.

But in the final days of the campaign, continued volatility in retail foot traffic, COVID-19 closures, winter weather and a decrease in the number of kettles available are increasing the chances of a shortfall.

“To serve the tsunami of need Americans are facing this holiday season and beyond, every single day counts,” said Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder, national commander of The Salvation Army. “More people are taking advantage of digital giving options, but the truth is that growth isn’t enough to overcome the decline in revenue given at physical kettles. Any decrease in donations puts programming like shelter, meals, financial assistance and more in jeopardy in the coming year.”

On an average day, a volunteer raises $300 by ringing the bell at a red kettle. That money stays in the community in which it was given to help provide:

  • Food for 234 hungry people (average $1.28 per meal)
  • Christmas presents for six kids (average $50 per child)
  • 11 nights of shelter for people without a home (average 27 per night)

A sustaining gift of just $25 a month (equivalent to one kettle for a day) will ensure that those services are available throughout 2021. People can still help rescue Christmas by giving an online gift at, dropping dollars into kettles and, in some communities, volunteering to ring bells.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 30 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

SOURCE The Salvation Army

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