The Salvation Army Alaska Division Sets Out to “Rescue Christmas”

Sep 18, 2020 | by Lessa Peter

Across the nation, the largest social-services organization launches iconic holiday fundraising campaign earlier than ever to meet increasing need

ANCHORAGE, AK  – 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.

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 Anchorage, The Salvation Army served 8,919 people during the holidays last year. If we see the same level of increased requests for service, that would mean 13,379 people would potentially need our help this holiday season.

At the same time, due to the closing of retail stores, consumers are carrying less cash and coins, and with the reduced foot traffic, The Salvation Army could see up to a 50 percent decrease in funds raised nationally through the red kettles. This will potentially limit our capability to provide services for the most vulnerable. To put this in perspective, last year $126 million was raised nationally through approximately 30,000 red kettles. In Alaska, $576,055 was raised from red kettles with $191,366 of those funds coming from Anchorage area residents.

"COVID 19 has had a significant impact on Alaskans this year with many still struggling from unemployment,” said Major John Brackenbury, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in Alaska, "After seeing the increased need throughout this summer, your support is crucial to The Salvation Army’s effort this year to rescue Christmas for those in the most need."

Since March, The Salvation Army Alaska Division has provided more than 125,000 meals, 13,000 nights of safe shelter, and emotional and spiritual support to over 9,500 people in need. Now more than ever, we’re making it safer and simpler to donate in order to support the most vulnerable in Alaska:

  • 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 in Alaska.

  • 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.

Every donation provides help and hope to those in need, and all gifts stay within the community in which they are given. Visit 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 to find a location near you.

CORRECTION 9/21/20: Orginal release included $402,200 raised from red kettles in Alaska in 2019 with $126,000 of those funds coming from Anchorage area residents. These numbers were incorrect.

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 Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.


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