The Salvation Army Sets Out to “Rescue Christmas”

Sep 21, 2020



Media Contact:

Kaitlyn Novotny

Special Events and Marketing Manager



The Salvation Army of Dane County Sets Out to “Rescue Christmas” Due to Immense Impact of COVID-19

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

Madison, WI (September 15, 2020) – 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 and mail appeals 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 Dane County, the organization provided over 39,000 nights of shelter last year. Thanks to funding from the City and County, The Salvation Army has been able to keep up with emergency shelter demand, but sustained support is not guaranteed.

At the same time, due to the closing of retail stores, consumers carrying less cash, 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 capacity to provide services for the most vulnerable. To put this in perspective, last year $559,000 was raised from the red kettles in Dane County alone, while this year's campaign has already seen a drop in active kettle locations, from 75 to 65. The kettles will be out officially on November 13, 2020, but appeals for the Christmas campaign are beginning in September.

"A successful campaign means shelter, permanent housing, toys, utility assistance, and food for our friends in Dane County. It means breaking cycles of homelessness and transforming lives," said Major Andrew Shiels, Capital Area Coordinator.

Since March, The Salvation Army of Dane County has provided more than 43,000 nights of shelter. Today, 55 families and 30+ single women are participating in The Salvation Army's emergency shelter services, with 35 more families on the waitlist. Now more than ever, they’re making it safer and simpler to donate to support the most vulnerable.


  • Participate in a sustaining monthly gift of $25 per month by visiting
  • Sign up to ring at To ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors and partners, The Salvation Army has adopted nationally mandated safety protocols.
  • Mail a check with "Christmas Campaign" in the memo line to 3030 Darbo Drive in Madison, WI 53714.
  • Donate digitally with Kettle Pay at any red kettle.
  • Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army."
  • Give any amount by texting “DANE” to 24365.

Every donation provides help and hope to those in need, and all gifts stay in Dane County. Visit to learn more.


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Related Content: COVID-19Dane CountyDonationsLocal/Community SupportMedia Alert / Press Release / NewsRed Kettles

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