Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn partners with The Salvation Army

Nov 8, 2022

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn does incredible things on the football field.  

He also does incredible things in the community – including partnering with The Salvation Army this holiday season and year-round.  

“I’m proud to support The Salvation Army and all the great things they do for the people of Minnesota,” said Osborn, a fan favorite who has caught several game-winning touchdowns during the past two seasons.  

Osborn will soon star in a number of Salvation Army commercials to recruit bell ringers for the upcoming Red Kettle season. The ads will be featured on most social media platforms and at U.S. Bank Stadium when the Vikings play the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving Day. He is also scheduled to ring bells himself. (Sign up to bell ring.)

In addition, Osborn has donated rent assistance funds to help three local families served by The Salvation Army, and he has chosen The Salvation Army as his beneficiary for the NFL’s My Cause, My Cleats initiative. 

“To use my voice to bring awareness to The Salvation Army’s mission is a great thing,” Osborn said. 

It’s Personal 

Osborn wants to help struggling families because he knows firsthand what it means to struggle. He grew up in Ypsilanti, Mich., with his mom and sister after his parents divorced. The three of them often cleaned a local car dealership to earn extra cash to pay rent, all while Osborn’s mom attended school to be a dental hygienist.

“Once or twice, my mom walked into the (apartment) management office and they said somebody paid our rent,” Osborn recalled. “That was a huge thing for a single mother with two kids. For me to be in this position now, I want to do that for somebody else.”

Right now, about 87,000 Minnesota households are behind on rent. Donations to red kettles help The Salvation Army to provide rent and energy assistance funds for thousands of local families. 

Osborn has a message for any person or family who is struggling right now:

“Keep your faith and continue to fight,” he said. “If you continue to fight, continue to live right, and continue to love others, God will reward you. My mom taught that to my sister and me – not by her words, but by her actions.”

Osborn added that his father has been a great support in his life as well. 

Watch K.J. explain more of his story

Sign up to ring 

Registration is now open for the 2022 bell ringing season. Sign up to ring

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign will kick off with a tree-lighting ceremony at Rice Park in downtown St. Paul on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 5:30 p.m. The ceremony will feature a 40-foot Christmas tree called “The Salvation Army Tree of Lights" and a message from St. Paul mayor Melvin Carter.

The Salvation Army needs more bell ringers than ever this holiday season due to rising inflation. Your time volunteering at a red kettle will help local families who cannot afford the rising cost of food, gas and housing. 

Bell ringing is a fun and easy way to make a big difference, with hundreds of red kettle locations throughout the Twin Cities, Greater Minnesota and North Dakota. Recruit your friends, family and coworkers to join you and raise even more money for hurting families.  

Kettle donations allow The Salvation Army Northern Division to provide food, shelter and care for thousands of people and families in Minnesota and North Dakota.

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