2020 Proves No Match for Americans' Generosity

Mar 7, 2021 | by The Salvation Army

This story was first published here on the PRN Newswire

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Feb. 26, 2021) – Fewer iconic red kettles, combined with less disposable income among donors, made traditional fundraising efforts for the country’s largest social service provider seemingly impossible in 2020. The organization anticipated a potential $60 million deficit due to the impacts of the pandemic, but donors answered the call to “Rescue Christmas” by increasing giving through online and in-home channels.

Thanks to the generous support of the American public, contributions to The Salvation Army during the 2020 holiday campaign increased 27% year-over-year, raising more than $557.3 million in much-needed funding. Money raised will help the organization to provide food, shelter, and social services to more than 30 million Americans in need through its 7,600 centers of operation in 2021.

To combat the challenges, the organization began its holiday fundraising campaign earlier than ever, encouraging people to give in safe and simple ways. There was an incredible response from the American public, resulting in a 100% increase in online donations and a 49% increase in mail-in donations, helping to bridge the gap between fewer red kettles and continued demand for services. Further, retail round-up contributions and Christmas gifts for children through The Salvation Army Angel Tree provided help and hope to millions of children and families in need.

“We are deeply grateful that at a time when it was not easy, comfortable, or convenient to give, our partners and the American people came together to answer our call for help,” said Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder, national commander of The Salvation Army. “It may not have been in everyone’s budget, and anyone could easily have looked the other way. Instead, so many reached into their hearts and pockets to meet record levels of need with tremendous generosity.”

More than 8 million people slid into poverty during the pandemic — the largest increase since the government began tracking the poverty rate 60 years ago. [1]

Since the beginning of 2020, The Salvation Army has provided an all-time high of services including more than 225 million meals, an additional 1.76 million nights of shelter, and 902,321 instances of emotional and spiritual care to individuals.

Several high-profile voices raised awareness about the tsunami of need due to the pandemic in 2020 including former first lady Laura Bush; actress, executive producer and New York Times best-selling author Candace Cameron Bure; television host, author, and activist Karamo Brown; DJ, media personality, record executive, and record producer DJ Khaled; and actors Alexa and Carlos PenaVega.

Jerry Jones, Charlotte Jones, Kane Brown, and The Dallas Cowboys showcased #RescueChristmas as part of the 24th annual Red Kettle Kickoff halftime performance on Thanksgiving Day. Since partnering with the team, The Salvation Army and the Cowboys have helped raise over $2.8 billion for the Red Kettle Campaign.

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign is sustained by the generous support of corporate partners across the country. The pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to normal retail business operations and, thereby, to the possibility of having the annual Red Kettle campaign. Thankfully, Red Kettle partners quickly rededicated themselves to helping The Salvation Army Rescue Christmas for those facing hardship.

We want to extend a special thanks to Walmart customers and Sam’s Club members who donated $42M online and in person.

Support at the Red Kettle also included:

$12 million at 2,099 The Kroger Co. locations

$5.6 million at 852 Hobby Lobby locations

$1.1 million at 734 Walgreens locations

$767,000 at 380 JCPenney locations

$721,000 at 280 Macy’s locations

$647,000 at 330 Food Lion locations

$487,315 at 323 Big Lots locations

$425,000 at 62 Cabela’s locations

$430,000 at 58 Bass Pro Shops locations

$415,000 at 71 Rural King locations

$185,000 at 114 Dillard’s locations

$24,659 at 13 Bloomingdale’s locations

$21,248 at 12 Mardel locations

Combined, these partners supported Red Kettles at 10,099 storefront locations across the country, signaling that hope and help would continue despite the pandemic. Their generosity raised nearly $65 million for people in need of the $118.9 million raised in total at the red kettles across the country.

From its humble beginnings in 1891 as a Salvation Army captain’s startup program in San Francisco, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States. It provides Christmas gifts for kids, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry, and countless social service programs year-round.

To learn more or make a difference in the lives of those in your community, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org.

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 30 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 SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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