It’s a sure sign of the holiday season. Those red kettles and bell ringers are out. The Salina Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign launched this weekend, a couple of weeks earlier than usual.
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.
According to the organization, 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. In Salina, they served over 1,100 people last year. If they see the same level of increased requests for service, that would mean at least 2,500 people need their 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 percent decrease in funds raised nationally 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 nationally through about 30,000 red kettles. Salina raised $126,519
Captain Lynn Lopez said “we are grateful to have exceeded our goal last year as it has helped us to continue serving those in need during COVID19. The needs have risen for all services we provide. From a daily shower and a hot meal to rent and utilities for folks to remain in their homes. We hope to reach the same amount or greater as the needs continue to rise.”
Since March, The Salina Salvation Army has provided more than 23,300 meals, 430 of rent/utility payments, and emotional and spiritual support to over 780 people in need. Now more than ever, they’re making it safer and simpler to donate in order to support the most vulnerable in Kansas:
- 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.
- This year Salina will have 9 different store fronts we will ring bells at. They are: Big Lots, Hobby Lobby, Central Mall (main door) beginning Nov 9th, Sam’s Club and Walmart beginning Nov 21st, Dillon’s (Cloud, Crawford, & Planet), Walgreens are beginning Nov. 27th.
- 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 Salina, KS.
- 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.
Local Advisory Board member and our Saline County Treasurer Jim DuBois said “this Holiday season think about the faces of those needing a special blessing by giving to The Salvation Army.” “We are expanding the ways for you to support the children, families, and those in need. Please give from the heart.”
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 The Salvation Army Salina, KS online at http://centralusa.salvationarmy.org/salina to find a location near you.