$147.6 Million Raised as Salvation Army Fundraiser Reaches Young Philanthropists
Alexandria, VA (January 30, 2012) – The Salvation Army raised $147.6 million through the 2011 Red Kettle Campaign, marking a new fundraising record for the campaign. The new record, a 3.4 percent increase from 2010, highlights the support of American donors who gave generously despite a continued slow economy. In its 120th year, after beginning on the wharf in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has become a Christmas tradition that utilizes volunteers to ring bells at 25,000 red kettles across the country. In 2011, The Salvation Army expanded on the Campaign by incorporating new technologies at kettles and hosting national events to inspire giving.
“In troubling times, we are truly grateful for the generosity of the American donor to support the traditions of the campaign and help The Salvation Army carry on its Mission,” said Commissioner William Roberts, National Commander of The Salvation Army. “We have been working to expand the Red Kettle Campaign to reach new and young donors, and with continued support, we are able to meet human need in His name during the winter months and year round.”
In keeping with tradition, the Dallas Cowboys helped The Salvation Army launch the campaign by hosting the 15th annual National Red Kettle Campaign Kickoff at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Grammy Award winning, international superstar Enrique Iglesias performed LIVE, with special guest Pitbull, on a nationally televised stage on Thanksgiving Day, singing to more than 31 million Americans. The nationally televised kickoff and the promotion surrounding it, is a reminder to all Americans about the importance of giving to the red kettles during the holidays and throughout the year.
The Salvation Army, in partnership with Sky Blue Group, Swift Entertainment and Universal Studios CityWalk, also hosted the second annual “Rock the Red Kettle Concert” on December 17 to encourage young Americans to support charitable causes. With host Mario Lopez of “Extra,” popular, Grammy-winning and platinum-selling recording artists such as Honor Society, Greyson Chance, Hanson, Colbie Caillat, Cody Simpson, and Drake Bell performed at Universal Studios CityWalk’s state-of-the-art “5 Towers” concert venue in Hollywood. World-renowned actor and recording artist Robert Davi made a guest appearance at the concert, following the release of his re-imagined version of the Christmas classic, “Mistletoe and Holly.” Proceeds from the song’s sales supported the Red Kettle Campaign.
Salvation Army bell-ringers manned red kettles at store fronts and in shopping malls nationwide. Corporate partners Walmart and Sam’s Club, who have been a partner with the Army for nearly 30 years, hosted kettles at store and club locations to collect $41.5 million and $5 million respectively, or 32 percent of this year’s total. The Walmart Foundation also made a donation of $1 million to the Army as part of its effort to support hunger relief in America.
“We want to thank our associates, customers and members for their extreme generosity in giving to The Salvation Army during the holiday season,” said Michelle Gilliard, senior director at the Walmart Foundation. “Each dollar raised at Red Kettles in front of our stores and clubs are making an impact in local communities and helping individuals and families live better.”
Sam’s Club and The Salvation Army also partnered with Off the Field, a professional football players’ wives association, to host the fifth annual Dream Drive on December 8. Twenty pre-selected families from The Salvation Army Adopt-A-Family program in 10 cities received $1,000 in gifts, including food, clothes and toys from Sam’s Club for a total donation of $200,000.
More than 2,100 Kroger store locations across the country hosted kettles, raising $13.1 million, or 9 percent of the campaign’s total. Donations at nearly 600 Big Lots stores raised $1.4 million for the campaign at physical Red Kettle total.
“We are ever grateful for the charitable support and compassion of all our corporate partners,” said Commissioner Roberts. “Through their big-heartedness, along with the generosity of the millions of Americans who gave, The Salvation Army is able to continue its work to help those in need.”
To make donating easier for those who only carry credit cards, The Salvation Army partnered with Square, which donated credit card readers for the Army to use in test markets – San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas and New York. Sprint also donated smartphone devices to The Salvation Army to mobilize the credit card application.
Online bell-ringers were also a big part of the Red Kettle Campaign for the seventh year in a row. By visiting The Salvation Army’s Online Red Kettle (onlineredkettle.org), donors could raise money with family, friends and colleagues. The Army raised more than $1.7 million through the Online Red Kettles, up from $1.6 million in 2010. Other online donations in November and December, not through the Online Red Kettle system, totaled $17.6 million, a 28 percent increase over the $13.7 million raised in 2010.
In addition to raising $3.3 million in kettles at more than 600 jcpenney locations, The Salvation Army partnered with jcpenney for the third year to bring Christmas gifts to 63,000 children and seniors as part of the Angel Giving Tree Online at jcp.com/angel. Customers could adopt, shop and ship gifts for people in need through jcp.com.
“Technology is changing the way charities raise money. Whether through a credit card at a kettle or online, we’re making an effort to reach the next generation of donors and make it convenient for people to support the campaign,” said Commissioner Roberts.
In addition, to help raise awareness and support people in need during the campaign at physical kettles, The Salvation Army hosted the inaugural World Record Bell Ringing Contest. Twenty-four volunteer bell ringers set out to surpass a benchmark of 36 hours of continuous ringing of a hand bell at street corners and in front of local partner store fronts. Three bell ringers, Caleb Stokes and Leilan McNally in Indianapolis, IN and Darrell Tureskis in Springfield, IL surpassed the record and rang a bell in support of The Salvation Army for 60 hours straight.
The Red Kettle Campaign, the oldest annual charitable fundraiser of its kind in the United States, helps raise money for those who need it most in communities nationwide – providing toys for kids, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry and countless social service programs year-round. From its humble beginnings as a fundraiser started by a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable outreach efforts in the United States.