The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit Exceeds $8 Million Red Kettle Campaign Fundraising Goal

Jan 27, 2021

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (Jan. 27, 2020)The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit has exceeded its $8 million Red Kettle Campaign fundraising goal to bring help and hope to thousands of neighbors in need throughout Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

Metro Detroit’s most vulnerable citizens affected by COVID-19 are already benefiting from donations made during the Red Kettle Campaign. The generosity of the community is keeping food on people’s tables, providing a roof over their heads and ensuring that basic utilities like electricity and water don’t get shut off. In addition to food, shelter and utility assistance, contributions to The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign are also:

  • Addressing the needs of those facing substance abuse through The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Harbor Light System’s drug and alcohol treatment program;
  • Keeping children safe and warm this winter with new coats, gloves and hats;
  • Providing relief for emergency disaster victims, such as individuals or families displaced from their homes due to a fire or natural disaster;
  • Funding outdoor and educational opportunities for at-risk youth, anti-human trafficking initiatives, a free legal aid clinic and much more.

All contributions made during the Red Kettle Campaign will remain in the community from where the donation was received, allowing these critical social services and programs to continue to operate throughout the year.

The Salvation Army’s goal to Rescue Christmas for the most vulnerable citizens was led by successful events throughout the 2020 Red Kettle Campaign, including a ‘Rock the Red Kettle’ virtual concert series and an expanded, all-virtual Celebrity Bell Ringer Weekend. The Red Kettle fundraising goal was surpassed because of supporters including Red Kettle Corporate Chairperson Herman Moore and Giving Tuesday corporate partner TCF Bank. TCF generously provided a $25,000 match on Tuesday, Dec. 1, while Moore launched a four-day, $84,000 matching campaign in mid-December.

The Salvation Army witnessed a variety of changes in 2020, many of which were attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic – such as fewer storefront red kettles and fewer volunteers to man the kettles. This ultimately led to an increase in digital fundraising, along with a higher volume of new donors and major gifts compared to 2019.

“We’ve received incredible support from everyone involved in the Red Kettle Campaign this year,” said Major Tim Meyer, general secretary, metro Detroit area commander and regional chief operating officer for The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division. “We knew that more people were facing hardship in 2020, and the need to serve those most vulnerable was greater than ever. It demonstrates that no matter the circumstances, the people of metro Detroit continue to step up, year after year, to help their neighbors in need – and that unwavering commitment speaks volumes to their character and kind hearts.”

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle success can also be attributed to the dedicated volunteers who donated their time as virtual or in-person bellringers during the campaign. In 2020, countless supporters signed up for traditional, two-hour bellringing sessions at physical red kettle sites – or took advantage of new virtual bellringing options to raise funds from the comfort of their own home. A new Watch for Good volunteer recruitment initiative was also introduced, giving bellringers an opportunity to win one of two Apple or Android smartwatches, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor. 17-year-old Westland, Mich. resident Josiah Vileo and 32-year-old Colleen Burke of Farmington Hills, Mich. were announced as the lucky smartwatch recipients during The Salvation Army’s virtual Red Kettle Wrap Up Party held on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

Despite meeting its $8 million Red Kettle Campaign fundraising goal, The Salvation Army continues to rely on the metro Detroit community for its support to provide for people who may lack proper shelter or warm meals. Many individuals – such as Larry, a single father who received two months’ worth of rent assistance; Keia, whose family received food and financial assistance, along with winter coats and Christmas gifts; and the Jones family, who, if not for The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope and Angel Tree programs would have been left helpless and hopeless after moving into a shelter – were all positively impacted from funds raised during the Red Kettle Campaign.

Donations made to The Salvation Army go a long way and impact countless people throughout the year. For more information on how to support the nonprofit and continue to ‘Do The Most Good’ in the community, please visit or connect with The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit 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



Recent Stories

Get Involved

A gift to The Salvation Army helps someone in your community.

Give Now



Do Good in your community

Find Worship

Join us throughout the week for worship, fellowship, Bible study, meals, community service and fun.