Kettles not just for Christmas

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Eastern Territory launches plan for summertime red kettles.

“Red kettles in moderation” was the adage in July as Salvation Army units around the country initiated a month-long summer program to place kettles in businesses. The goal was to generate revenue to handle increased requests for services.

In the Eastern Territory, The Salvation Army of Greater New York participated in bell ringing from July 13 to 18, aiming to raise $1 million. Major Evan Hickman reported that although their donations this year are close to those of last year, the need for services is up 40 percent; he noted that almost 300,000 New Yorkers have lost their jobs.

This was the first time in 130 years that The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia has launched a kettle fundraiser outside of the Christmas holidays. Randall Thomas, director of communications, said their goal was to bridge the gap between increased demand for services and a funding deficit of $850,000.

“The reason for proceeding in moderation,” Thomas said, “was to avoid an over saturation of kettles outside the holiday season.”

They also opened a Twitter account and a Facebook page.

In Nashville, The Salvation Army has placed countertop red kettles to avoid detracting from traditional bell-ringing activities. This program, which is year round, is independent of the Christmas in July program, which involved businesses that did not want to participate in the countertop program.

Nashville’s calls for service have tripled since April 2008. “We started [the program] for the first time this year to bring awareness to the community that people are in great need in our city and to continue our programming during the summer—we need support even in the summer months,” said Jen Eldridge, director of marketing. “Our immediate challenge is to keep pace with cost and demand. We don’t see any way to keep pace with demand.”

Taken from The NonProfit Times, August 27, 2009, article by Mark Hrywna

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