Red Kettles Hit the Streets Today

Nov 9, 2020

It's sounding a lot more like Christmas, as the first of The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles are brought out in Chicago and the suburbs today, November 9. Bell ringers are collecting donations at the iconic Red Kettles outside Jewel-Osco and Hobby Lobby stores.  

The Salvation Army’s annual fundraising campaign looks a little different this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Bell ringers are required to follow strict guidelines to ensure their safety and the safety of donors.

  • Face masks are provided to each bell ringer, and required to be worn at all times.

  • Bell ringers are required to maintain six feet of distance from donors who approach the kettle.

  • All kettle equipment is sanitized on a regular basis.

  • Signs on the kettles are equipped with Apple Pay and Google Pay technology, encouraging contactless donations with the tap of a smartphone.

The Red Kettles are a vital part of the Rescue Christmas campaign, which The Salvation Army launched in mid-September. The annual fundraising campaign began nearly two months earlier than in a typical year, in order to meet an unprecedented need. Salvation Army corps community centers saw up to a fivefold increase in need during the height of the pandemic in the spring.

“Because of the continued COVID pandemic, many of our neighbors are facing financial hardship this year. We’re seeing many people seeking assistance for the first time,” said Lt. Col. Lonneal Richardson, divisional commander for The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division. “The funds donated to the Red Kettles will allow us to continue supporting a growing number of individuals with the resources they need to keep food on the table, the lights on, and Christmas gifts under the tree. You can help Rescue Christmas.”

The money raised will also fund programming all year long, including rehabilitation for substance use disorders and shelter for the homeless. Seventy percent of The Salvation Army’s donations for the entire year are made during the Christmas season.

In addition to the retail locations already mentioned, Red Kettles will be placed outside Walmart stores on November 21, Mariano’s on November 26, and Macy’s on November 27.

Every donation provides help and hope to those in need, and all gifts stay within the community in which they are given. 

Help The Salvation Army Rescue Christmas

for Our Neighbors in Need

Help Rescue Christmas     Fundraise for Good

Ring a Bell     Volunteer     Make the Holiday Bright for a Child

For tax purposes: The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division EIN is 36-2167910.

Recent Stories

Related Content: ChristmasFundraising / PhilanthropyHolidaysMedia Alert / Press Release / News

Get Involved
Share Your Story

We would love to hear about your experience with The Salvation Army.

Share My Story


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.