The Salvation Army USA sets out to “Rescue Christmas” due to immense impact of COVID-19

Iconic holiday fundraising campaign is being launched earlier than ever to meet increasing need 

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — For the first time in 130 years, The Salvation Army is starting its annual holiday fundraising campaign early in an effort 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 says it 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. 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 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 through about 30,000 red kettles.

“Our ability to raise vital funds to serve those in need this Christmas and beyond is at risk,” says Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder, National Commander of The Salvation Army. “We need everyone who has the capacity to come alongside us and ensure that the holiday season is bright for millions.”

Since March, The Salvation Army USA has provided more than 100 million meals, 1.5 million nights of safe shelter, and emotional and spiritual support to more than 800,000 people. The organization says it is focused on making it safer and simpler to donate, including:

  • Enlisting in Love’s Army with a sustaining monthly gift of $25 per month
  • Adopting nationally mandated safety protocols to help ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors and partners
  • Donating digitally with Apple Pay or Google Pay at any red kettle across the country
  • Asking Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specifying the amount
  • Giving any amount by texting “KETTLES” to 91999
  • Donating physical gifts in bulk
  • Adopting additional Angels through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program
  • Including bell ringers on Michigan Avenue in Chicago to raise awareness

Two-time Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum selling artist Lauren Daigle’s hit “Rescue” serves as the anthem for this effort.

The Salvation Army provides meals to more than 23 million people a year. Every donation provides help and hope to those in need, and all gifts stay within the community in which they are given, according to the organization.

For more information, visit or follow the organization on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 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.


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