BRANSON, Mo.- For the first time in 130 years, The Salvation Army is starting its annual holiday fundraising campaign early across the country in order to rescue Christmas.
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, paying bills, providing shelter, and helping place gifts under the tree – assuming the resources are available.
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 their capacity to provide services for the most vulnerable. Last year, $126 million was raised nationally through about 30,000 red kettles to put this in perspective. The Midland Division that covers Missouri and Southern Illinois raised $3.8 million during the red kettle campaign.
“People who were already struggling before the coronavirus pandemic have been hit especially hard. We know at Christmas, the need for these families will be greater. The Salvation Army across the country is beginning fundraising with kettles right away. However, The Salvation Army Midland Division will not commence bell ringing until November,” said Salvation Army Midland Division Commander Lt. Colonel Bob Webster.
Since March, The Salvation Army Midland Division has provided more than 120,000 meals, 13,410 nights of safe shelter, and emotional and spiritual support to over 4,087 people in need. Now more than ever, they’re making it safer and simpler to donate in order to support the most vulnerable in Missouri/Southern Illinois:
- The best way to ensure that these vital services continue is to enlist in Love’s Army with a sustaining monthly gift of $25 per month.
- To help ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors, and partners, The Salvation Army has adopted nationally mandated safety protocols.
- Donate digitally with Apple Pay or Google Pay at any red kettle in Missouri/Southern Illinois.
- 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.
- Donate physical gifts in bulk.
- Adopt additional Angels to give hope and joy to kids and families in need through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.
- You can donate at your local Salvation Army or online.