The Salvation Army Launches Red Kettle Campaign to Rescue Christmas in 2020

Sep 14, 2020

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (Sept. 14, 2020)The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit is launching its Red Kettle Campaign – the earliest the nonprofit has ever begun its annual Christmas fundraiser in its 133-year history of serving southeast Michigan.

The Salvation Army’s ability to raise vital funds to serve those in need is at risk this year due to the impact and economic hardships caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters can Rescue Christmas throughout the 2020 Red Kettle Campaign by donating or volunteering their time this Christmas season to aid The Salvation Army reach its $8 million fundraising goal. All funds raised will directly benefit communities throughout Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

“With more people facing hardship this year, the need to serve those most vulnerable is greater than ever,” said Major Tim Meyer, general secretary, metro Detroit area commander and regional chief operating officer for The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division. “2020 has been a tough and tumultuous year for thousands of people across metro Detroit, and we realized that we had to begin this year’s Red Kettle Campaign much earlier than normal to make up for lost time. Bottom line – many more families will be coming to us this year for help – and we want to make sure we’re able to give them the support they need.”

While the iconic red kettles won’t make an appearance until Friday, Nov. 13, Salvation Army supporters can help support the nonprofit’s early efforts to Rescue Christmas by:

The Salvation Army is relying on the metro Detroit community for its support in order to provide for people who may lack proper shelter or warm meals – or for families that might be choosing between things like paying the rent or buying Christmas presents for their children. A sustaining, $25 monthly gift helps support The Salvation Army’s much needed programs in a donor’s area, while one-time gifts up to $300 are being made 100 percent tax-deductible for the remainder of 2020, thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This even applies for donors who use the standard deduction.

The Salvation Army is also encouraging individuals and families to sign up as volunteer bellringers by visiting where they have an option to choose a traditional, two-hour session at a physical red kettle site or participate in a virtual bellringing shift where they can raise funds in the comfort of their own home. Volunteers who donate their time as a virtual or in-person volunteer bellringer can enter to win an Apple or Android Smartwatch as part of the nonprofit’s Watch for Good volunteer recruitment initiative.

The Salvation Army will take all safety precautions with in-person volunteers by providing them with personal protection equipment and encouraging individuals to donate via Kettle Pay, a contactless donation option through Apple or Google Pay.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a substantial hit on retail foot traffic at malls and department stores, with some seeing an 80 percent or more drop during the months of March through May. On the contrary, preference for curbside, contactless pickup at retail stores surged more than 208 percent during the height of the pandemic – and online searches related to “curbside pickup” for major retailers like Walmart from March through July grew more than 600 percent.

“After looking at all the data these past few months, we found that people were still going to stores, albeit in a much different way – which helped identify options for shoppers to still safely interact with our Red Kettles” said Meyer. “We know people automatically think of Christmas as soon as they see our kettles at storefronts, and that’s why we’re working diligently with our corporate partners and bellringing locations to still have physical kettles at some locations this year. With the continuation of Kettle Pay, paired with the health and safety guidelines our bellringers must adhere to this year, we’re confident the public will feel comfortable donating to The Salvation Army in 2020.”

The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit is much more than a red kettle. Last year, the nonprofit helped provide:

    • More than 2.5 million meals

    • Nearly 580,000 nights of shelter

    • Nearly 167,000 Christmas toys and gifts for children and seniors

    • More than 2,300 children opportunities to visit Echo Grove Camp & Conference Center

    • Resolution of nearly 1,800 legal issues through the William Booth Legal Aid Clinic

More information about The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit’s Red Kettle Campaign will be made available in the coming months. For updates, please visit or connect with The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

About The Salvation Army
Founded by William and Catherine Booth in London, England in 1865, The Salvation Army is a faith-based, non-profit organization dedicated to serving people in need without discrimination. This past year, The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit was involved in providing 2,535,013 meals and 579,920 nights of shelter for the homeless. The Salvation Army uses $.87 of every dollar raised to provide direct services to people in need each and every day of the year. For more information about The Salvation Army, please call 877-SAL-MICH, or visit us at


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