PRNNWS-09-19-20 COHEN COLUMN_LOGO

For the first time in 130 years, The Salvation Army is starting its annual holiday fundraising campaign early 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% 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 their 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,” said 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. We’re asking you to help rescue Christmas with us by providing support in any way you can. Our hope is to offset these challenges to meet the increasing demand for services across our nation.”

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 over 800,000 people. Now more than ever, they’re making it safer and simpler to donate in order to support the most vulnerable in our nation.

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 across the country.

Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specifying the amount.

Give any amount by texting “KETTLE” 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.

And across the nation, including bell ringers on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, local Salvation Army corps will be raising awareness of the need to rescue Christmas in their communities.

Two-time Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum selling artist Lauren Daigle’s hit “Rescue” serves as the anthem for this effort, a fitting soundtrack for the help that The Salvation Army provides 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. Visit RescueChristmas.org to donate or learn more about how you can help The Salvation Army rescue Christmas this year. If you need services or know of someone in need, please visit SalvationArmyUSA.org to find a location near you.