Facing Perfect Storm of Unprecedented Need and Less Kettle Donations, The Salvation Army Needs Help to Rescue Christmas

December 22, 2020

Facing Perfect Storm of Unprecedented Need and Less Kettle Donations,

The Salvation Army Needs Help to Rescue Christmas

Red Kettle Donations Down (50%) From Same Time Last Year

The Salvation Army’s iconic Christmas Red Kettle Campaign, now in its 130th year, is struggling to meet its fundraising targets this year as communities nationwide continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. With just a few days remaining in this year’s campaign, donations to The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles are currently down by more than 50% statewide compared to last year. Since launching in mid-September, two months earlier than usual in anticipation of increased needs, the Massachusetts’ Division’s Rescue Christmas Red Kettle Campaign has raised less than half of this year’s goal of $2.5 million.

The Salvation Army is facing a perfect storm this year as it contends with a massive spike in demand for services coupled with a precipitous decline in donations at Red Kettles. Based on the increased service already provided this year due to the pandemic, it is expected they will serve over 150% more people this holiday season. COVID-19 has not only created a much bigger demand for The Salvation Army to meet but has also decreased the number of traditional Red Kettles on street corners and at store entrances. Nationwide, The Salvation Army anticipates as much as a 50% decrease in funds raised through its Rescue Christmas Red Kettles Campaign this year owing to consumers carrying less cash, the closure of many brick-and-mortar retails stores where kettles would traditionally stand, more online shopping, which means less foot traffic in shopping areas, and increased unemployment and debt.

“This has been a difficult year for so many, now more than ever we are asking our communities to do whatever they can to help those in need,” said Major Marcus Jugenheimer, General Secretary of The Massachusetts Salvation Army. “We are doing everything we can to ensure every family has a meal and presents under the tree for kids this year. This year has brought unprecedented challenges for all of us, for those who can help ease the burden for others, we are asking you to do so. We thank those who have already donated and helped us make a difference.”

Since March, The Salvation Army has served more than 14 million meals to neighbors in need across the Commonwealth, serving every community and anyone who asks for help.

In response to the pandemic, The Salvation Army has made it easier and safer than ever to support its work this year. People can donate in several contactless ways, including:

  • Visit www.RescueChristmas.org to turn your passion into action.
  • Sign up to give a sustaining monthly gift of $25 to help The Salvation Army year-round. A $25 monthly donation over one year provides:
    • 240 meals to those most vulnerable
    • 11 nights of shelter for those living on the streets
    • 12 years of Christmas presents for one child
  • Donate digitally with Apple Pay or Google Pay at any of our iconic Red Kettles around the country.
  • Use Amazon Alexa by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specifying the amount.
  • Give any amount by texting “RESCUECHRISTMAS” to 41444.
  • Encourage friends and family to give virtually through options like peer-to-peer fundraising at salvationarmyma.org/rescuechristmas.
  • Send a check to your local Salvation Army Corps or their headquarters at 25 Shawmut Rd, Canton, MA 02021

Operating locally for more than 135 years, The Salvation Army has relied upon its iconic Red Kettle campaign since the 1890s.  Donations to the kettles allow The Salvation Army to provide life-changing social services and other programs throughout the year. The Salvation Army provides a wide array of social services, including Emergency Assistance, After-School Programs, Emergency Disaster Services, Senior Services, homelessness services, and Christmas Assistance.


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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. For more information, visit SalvationArmyMA.org.


Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyMA and #DoingTheMostGood.

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