Churches, civic clubs, organizations, schools, and individuals can support The Salvation Army through the Red Kettle Challenge, helping the evangelical organization reach its goal of $150,000 by Dec. 31 — and this year donors and supporters can contribute digitally.
The funds will go directly to support local feeding and shelter programs. The Salvation Army hopes 150 volunteer kettle organizers will step forward and raise $1,000 each during the 22 days of bell ringing.
"Why $1,000?" said Murfreesboro's Maj. Joseph Irvin. "$1,000 provides one day of housing and food in our local 50-bed Emergency Shelter and Life Recovery Program, which provided 14,682 nights of lodging and 58,768 meals."
The money raised during the holiday season is critical to The Salvation Army's ability to serve a growing community throughout the year.
"We have experienced a significant increase in persons seeking assistance," Irvin added. "In 2018, we saw an increase of 26 percent in the number of persons needing emergency shelter and 41 percent in the number of meals we served in our free community meal."
Candy Joyce, association executive vice president for Middle Tennessee Association of REALTORS, says her organization has volunteered to man all the Kroger Stores in Rutherford County for a day.
"They love seeing everyone, sharing holiday greetings and singing the praises of the great work at The Salvation Army," she said. "It's not a hard task or a hard sell, when you know how important the work and service provided by each small donation will be in the life of a fellow Rutherford County family. We love it and would challenge every business to consider taking a day with the Red Kettles."
While volunteers are the backbone of the Red Kettle Season, donors provide the true success. In 2018, anonymous donations in the iconic red kettles, ranging from pennies to large bills, helped to provide $115,791 and provided 14,682 nights of lodging and 58,768 hot meals, among many other contributions to the community.
"As America moves toward becoming a cashless society," explained Irvin, "The Salvation Army is making it easier for donors to give through Google Pay and Apple Pay. This really makes donations convenient for folks who don't carry 'spare change.'"
How can you help?
Start an Online Kettle HERE. Donate at the Kettle using Apple or Google Pay knowing the funds will be distributed to local Salvation Army units based on the donor's billing ZIP code and an email receipt will be sent directly to their phone.
"Whether you give of your time through volunteering, starting an online kettle, or through donations made at the kettle with cash, check, Apple Pay and Google Pay, The Salvation Army is committed to 'Doing the Most Good' with your generosity this holiday season."
The availability to volunteer is virtually unlimited between Nov. 29 and Dec. 24. Contact John Mitchell at email@example.com for more information.
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 operations 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.