Red Kettle Reason back for second year

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In 2014, campaign drew participation from 66,000 people.

By Laura Poff – 

The National Headquarters Community Relations Department launched the Red Kettle Reason campaign last fall in the lead up to the holiday season as a way to engage a younger audience in meaningful dialogue about the work of The Salvation Army. It is a simple ask: tweet the reason that you support The Salvation Army, using the hashtag #RedKettleReason.

“We reached out to some celebrities, some board members and national leaders who support The Salvation Army and it really caught on,” said Lt. Colonel Ron Busroe, national community relations secretary.

A number of well-known athletes participated as well.

“They talked about how The Salvation Army had helped them when they were children and helped their family,” Busroe said. “Their Red Kettle Reason was, ‘because I got help, now I help.’”

In all, 66,000 people participated in 2014, and engagement is expected to increase this year as the campaign returns with a new dimension—asking donors to not only share their Red Kettle Reasons but also why they support their local Salvation Army corps.

The most compelling stories will be posted on the national Salvation Army website where visitors can vote for the corps that they think is the most deserving.

Voting will end in early December when the winner will be invited to come to New York City and participate in a giving spree, buying supplies at a New York City Wal-Mart for a program at their local corps.

Nick Cannon will also be releasing a series of videos that tell the story of how The Salvation Army had an impact on him when he was a young boy. In one video, he reveals that when he was a kid, his family received help from The Salvation Army.

“Those are the kinds of things that really touch you,” Busroe said.

Ultimately, the goal of the campaign is to introduce young people, who are more engaged on social media, to the ways that they can make an impact by volunteering for and donating to their local Salvation Army.

“It’s certainly important for a younger demographic who may not know what The Salvation Army is or does,” Busroe said. “When they see their friends helping through the Angel Tree or having received help from The Salvation Army, they realize this is something they can help with as well.”

Last year, online giving increased by 16 percent, more than for any other organization, according to Busroe. Though not directly attributable to the campaign, it certainly helped, with many people donating directly through the Red Kettle Reason website.

“We were blown away last year by the number of people who participated and I think this year it’s going to be more popular,” he said. “We feel like we are on the right track and this is part of the reason that people are giving.”

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