Red Kettle Campaign Kicks Off in Central Indiana
The Salvation Army of Central Indiana hosted its annual Red Kettle Christmas Kick-Off on Friday, November 13 at the Indiana Historical Society in downtown Indianapolis. The festive event took place in the Frank and Katrina Basile Theater and was emceed by Salvation Army Advisory Board member and WTHR meteorologist Chuck Lofton. The Indiana Historical Society was closed to the public during the event, which was invitation only to maintain safe occupancy levels.
The annual Red Kettle Campaign has a goal of raising $3.2 million through the iconic red kettles located throughout Central Indiana. New this year is an online peer-to-peer fundraising campaign that invites the public to take an active role in supporting the organization. The Virtual Red Kettle Campaign has a goal of raising $250,000 online through the platform, which allows supporters to create their own virtual Red Kettle with a personal fundraising goal. Supporters of The Salvation Army Fountain Square are encouraged to donate to the "Team Fountain Square" page HERE.
"This fundraising campaign is always an integral part of our annual operations," said Major Marc Johnson, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army Indiana Division. "This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people who were regular donors now find themselves in need of help, support, and hope."
The Salvation Army has been responding to the increased need in the community as local residents face job loss, reduction of hours, virtual learning challenges, and hunger in their homes. This response has included the distribution of thousands of food boxes, rent and utility assistance, and emotional and spiritual care for those severely affected by the pandemic. Families experiencing significant income gaps because of shut-downs across Central Indiana are facing an especially bleak holiday season.
"One such family just wrote to us," shared Major Johnson. "They wrote, 'Our family has been hit very hard by COVID-19. We have three children, all little girls, and our hours have been cut to only three hours a day. That's only 15 hours a week. We will not be able to buy Christmas for our babies this year and we are so heartbroken. We also will not be able to provide them with Christmas dinner.' The Salvation Army exists to respond to such unforeseen needs."
The Red Kettle Christmas Kick-Off on Friday featured the barbershop quartet Brothers of a Chord singing holiday favorites. Special guest speakers, including radio personalities Terri Stacy and Mel McMann, share details about seasonal programs like Angel Tree and the WIBC Radiothon, which benefit local families in need. The Salvation Army also recognized several companies, foundations, and individuals that have made significant gifts this fall.
After the program, guests had full access to enjoy the Festival of Trees. The Salvation Army's very special Angel Tree "soars" in the Welcome Center of the Indiana Historical Society. Photos from the fun event can be viewed online by clicking HERE. Learn more about The Salvation Army's "Rescue Christmas" fundraising campaign by visiting SalvationArmyIndiana.org/Rescue-Christmas.