Making a Difference in the Midwest, October 1
2020 has been a year like no other. It has created needs like no other year, too. Across the Midwest, seasonal donation programs are gearing up to keep children warm and bring Christmas cheer to those in need.
An All-Star Red Kettle Kickoff
On September 16, spotlights lit up the night sky across Northeastern Illinois. Often such fanfare is associated with A-list movie premieres. The red carpets at the base of these searchlights didn’t feature the latest Hollywood heartthrob, but instead starred the iconic Salvation Army red kettle. Worship and service centers across Metropolitan Chicago hosted socially distanced outdoor events to launch the 2020 Rescue Christmas campaign.
This is the earliest launch of the Christmas campaign in 130 years. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, The Salvation Army has seen requests for assistance rise dramatically and are planning for an increase of 155% during the Christmas season. It is expected that red kettle donations collected may be 50% less than normal due to pandemic-related changes in shopping behaviors.
The Christmas campaign funds holiday meals, toys for children and other traditions. It also provides critical funding for Salvation Army programs throughout the year. To address the increased need, the annual fundraising campaign will run longer this year. You can donate online and become a virtual bell ringer by hosting online fundraisers. And, of course, red kettles will make their appearance in November.
Coats for Kids
Sweater weather has just begun, but all too soon winter’s chill will be here. In the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, The Salvation Army is working to keep children warm this winter through their annual Coats for Kids winter clothing drive. Through October 7, donations of children’s winter coats and accessories are accepted at Spire Credit Union locations. No coat? No problem. A $20 donation allows The Salvation Army to purchase a new coat for a child in need.
“Our goal is to distribute 30,000 winter coats for children in Minnesota and North Dakota,” said Lt. Colonel Dan Jennings, leader of The Salvation Army Northern Division. “We encourage everyone to join in this important effort. No child should go without a coat this winter.” Over the past 30 years, The Salvation Army has provided over 400,000 coats to children in the Twin Cities.
For children in need, Christmas may not feature a tree or presents. The Salvation Army Angel Tree program grants Christmas wishes for these little angels. Qualified parents can register their children for the program. Donors then select an “angel” and purchase the requested toys and clothing. To protect privacy, donors only receive the child’s first name and wish list. Please contact your local Salvation Army location for more information.
As the leaves change from green to red and gold, our thoughts begin to turn to the upcoming holiday season and how it may be different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Salvation Army is preparing to be a beacon of hope and provide a hand in need during the holidays and all year long.
Please join us as we Rescue Christmas