The unmistakable sound of the Salvation Army’s bell-ringers could be heard up and down Michigan Avenue on Monday morning as the organization announced an unprecedented September kickoff to its annual Red Kettle fundraiser.
Though the kettles themselves won’t be on the streets in full force until November, the Salvation Army is accepting online donations starting Monday through Jan. 31, 2021, as part of its Rescue Christmas campaign.
According to the Salvation Army’s Capt. Peter Mount, demand for the organization’s services has increased 500% during the coronavirus pandemic. Utility assistance and overnight shelter remain among the top reasons people turn to the Salvation Army for help, but there has been a significant rise in the need for food, Mount said.
At the same time, the organization is anticipating a decrease of up to 50% in donations this holiday season, he said. The Salvation Army relies on the Red Kettle campaign for nearly 70% of its donations.
Rescue Christmas aims to stem projected losses by raising awareness and generating support well in advance of the holiday season. Funds will be used to provide holiday meals and deliver gifts, as well as to supply basics such as groceries, winter clothing and housing assistance.
Click here for more information about Rescue Christmas or to donate.