FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): For the first time in 130 years, the Salvation Army will be starting its annual Red Kettle campaign early.
Captain Kenyon Sivels of the Salvation Army in Fort Wayne tells WOWO News the “Rescue Christmas” holiday fundraising campaign is launching early due to the risk that COVID-19 poses to fundraising efforts, plus the fact that requests for services are at an all-time high.
Based on the increase in services already provided in response to the pandemic, the Salvation Army could serve up to 155% 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.
Across the Indiana Division, they served 68,000 people last Christmas. If the organization sees the same level of increased requests for service, that would mean 105,000 people who need help this 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% 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. $2.7-million was raised in red kettles across Indiana.
The Salvation Army provided the following tips for those looking to support this year’s campaign:
- Enlist in Love’s Army with a sustaining monthly gift of $25 per month.
- Donate digitally with Apple Pay or Google Pay at any red kettle in Indiana.
- Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specifying the amount.
- Give any amount by texting HOOSIER to 24365.
- Talk to your local Salvation Army about how you can create a Virtual Red Kettle and raise money online to support local programs.
- 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.