Kickin’ Off This Year’s Red Kettle Campaign Is…

Monday, October 25, 2010

The wait is over! Our National Advisory Board Chair Charlotte Jones Anderson made the announcement on ESPN’s Monday Night Football this evening…

Three-time Grammy Award winner Keith Urban has been named the featured performer for this year’s Salvation Army’s Kettle Kickoff! That means you get to watch him rock out during the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game halftime show on November 25 aired on FOX. (Read our official press release here)

But instead of watching from your couch, how would you like to catch all the action live at Cowboys Stadium?

As a part of the Kettle Kickoff promotion, fans will have an opportunity to win an expense-paid trip to the game to see Keith’s performance and watch Dallas take on last year’s Super Bowl champs, the New Orleans Saints. Just signup to be an Online Red Kettle virtual bell ringer at www.onlineredkettle.org, and the fans who collect the most donations for people in need have a chance to win! You can checkout rules and details at www.onlineredkettle.org, but the contest has started and there’s no time to waste, so we’re including key info below as well.

May the best virtual bell ringer win!

Eligibilty: The Contest is open to legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older, residing in one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia. Employees, soldiers and officers affiliated with The Salvation Army and their family members are eligible to participate.

Contest Time Period: The Contest runs from October 25, 2010 through Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 12 noon ET.

How to Sign Up: Participants can sign up for individual Online Red Kettles on the Internet at www.onlineredkettle.org and following the directions provided.

Prize Package: The prize package includes:

* Two game tickets to the November 25, 2010, Thanksgiving Day game between the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX

* Two field-level passes to the Keith Urban half-time performance

* One-night hotel stay for two persons at the Gaylord Hotel & Convention Center in Dallas in a single room with two queen-sized beds

* Two round-trip coach-class airline tickets from U.S. destinations (excluding U.S. territories and outlying areas) on a major commercial carrier, subject to seat availability

Winner: The participant whose individual Online Red Kettle has the highest monetary total of donations as of November 21, 2010 at 12 noon ET, will be declared the winner.

Tie-Breaker: In the event that more than one kettle has the exact same total, the person whose kettle was registered in the Online Red Kettle system first will be declared the winner.

Notification: The winner will be notified via the e-mail address they used to register their individual Online Red Kettle.

General Conditions: No purchase necessary.
Again, for more contest details please visit www.OnlineRedKettle.org or our website at www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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Donations to Nation’s Biggest Charities Drop 11%

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A new report shows that donations to the nation’s 400 biggest charities dropped 11% last year, the most significant decline in the 20 years it’s been tracked. Ranked #2 on the list, The Salvation Army was no exception to the decrease having seen an 8.4% cut in donations.

The effects of our country’s economic recession have put charities in a sort of Catch-22. More people are in need and the demand for assistance increases, but fewer resources are available to meet this demand.

We would like to point out though, that even though our total charitable donations fell during 2009, generous givers like you still contributed a record amount to our Christmas Red Kettles. Every little penny counts in our mission to indiscriminately meet human need, so thank you for digging deep!

As the holiday season approaches yet again, please consider how you might be able to help The Salvation Army serve others during this time of overwhelming need. Like the rest of the population, we aren’t immune to the economic hardships, but we are committed to “doing the most good” in all circumstances.

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In Need of Holiday Volunteers

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The holidays are right around the corner, and many community Salvation Army units are searching for volunteers to assist with their seasonal activities and services. The holiday season is generally the busiest time for us and the extra hands lent by volunteers make all the difference in helping us stretch our service to people in need.

Can you find time, anywhere from one hour to a few days, to help The Salvation Army serve your community this season? Maybe you’d like to help with a toy drive, be a Christmas Red Kettle Bell Ringer, assist with meal distributions or just jump in wherever you’re needed most.

Visit your local Salvation Army’s website to see if they are offering information and sign-up for volunteer opportunities. If you don’t see anything online yet, just give your community’s unit a call and ask what you can do. You can find your nearest Salvation Army by visiting www.salvationarmyusa.org and typing in your zip code in the top menu bar’s “Locations” field.

Scott Bedio, Archivist for The Salvation Army USA’s National Headquarters, has volunteered as a Christmas Red Kettle Bell Ringer every holiday season for the past 20 years and believes “there’s no better way to give back.”

Over the years he’s come to recognize many of the faces who pass by and donate to his kettle season after season. He says many strangers even feel compelled to talk to him about their personal stories of how The Salvation Army has helped them in times of need.

One of Scott’s favorite parts of being a Bell Ringer is seeing what he calls “generational giving” – when children, parents and grandparents share in the tradition of donating to the red kettles. He also looks forward to when his son is old enough to participate with him in his annual bell ringing tradition.

For those of you who are considering being a first time Bell Ringer, Scott offered some great advice:

Dress in Layers. Standing out in cold weather can be the hardest part of bell ringing, so covering up from head to toe can help you endure the elements with less shivering.

Be Creative. People love to hear the bell, but you can also mix it up. Scott sometimes brings his tuba and plays Christmas music when he wants to give his hands a break from ringing. Others have also been known to sing!

It’s All About Your Rhythm. If you don’t want to wear out your arm, Scott advises to not overuse your arm and elbow when ringing by keeping your bell near your waist and focusing most of your movements in your hand. But the technique of bell ringing is flexible so feel free to work out a style of your own.

As we wrapped up our conversation, I asked Scott what’s the most important thing people should know before they volunteer as a bell ringer?

After thinking a bit, he replied, “Have a smile on your face and enjoy the people. It’s a special time.”

Does this sound like something you’d like to be involved with? Contact your local Salvation Army today to get started.

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We Have an App for That

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mashable, one of the most well-known blogs focused exclusively on social media, just released a their top 5 list of non-profit apps that you should know about, and The Salvation Army ‘ Bellringer’ App made the rank!

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NSAW Fact of the Day: Red Kettle Origin and Modern Traditions

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Did You Know…?

The Annual Red Kettle Christmas Campaign began in 1891 when a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco set up a crab pot at Oakland Ferry Landing to collect money for the poor at Christmas. The campaign has since become one of the longest-running and most recognizable fundraising efforts in the world. Kettles are now used in such distant lands as Korea, Japan, Chile and throughout Europe.

Since 1997, The Salvation Army has launched the Annual Red Kettle Christmas Campaign with a special halftime show performance at the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game. Previous performers have included Daughtry, Jonas Brothers, Kelly Clarkson, Toby Keith and Jessica Simpson. During this time period, The Salvation Army has raised more than $1.5 billion from the red kettles to support service efforts in communities nationwide.

Hit rock band Daughtry performed for The Salvation Army’s 2009 Red Kettle Kick-Off half time show during the Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day game.

In honor of National Salvation Army Week, everyday we are posting one interesting fact on our blog and an event on our website demonstrating how Salvation Army’s across the country are celebrating. Click here for more information on the history of National Salvation Army Week.

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Red Kettles 2.0

Friday, March 19, 2010

This week we released The Salvation Army’s record-breaking Red Kettle Campaign results, made possible by your generous donations! (Thank you!)

The Washington Times featured a story about this today entitled, “Green Yule for virtual Salvation Army – Cyber kettle shows its mettle,” focusing on the new and unique “virtual” Red Kettle presence, including an iPhone application and the online game Coin Catch. This online presence helps us reach a larger audience and provides more opportunities for people to give back to the community.

The Salvation Army Coin Catch game, inspired by an anonymous donor in Detroit, is entertaining, free to play, and generates donations for The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division where state residents are struggling with the highest unemployment rates in the nation. For people who want to support a good cause but don’t have the extra funds, this program is perfect!

The goal is to catch as many falling coins as possible in a red kettle while avoiding “bad things” like mousetraps and spiders. For every coin you catch, the anonymous donor gives one penny to The Salvation Army. As you catch more money, the game will quickly pause to tell you what a positive impact your funds will have on someone in Detroit (for example, $.33 cents will buy someone a meal, and $.66 provides a baby of bottle formula for a day).

If you haven’t tried our Coin Catch Game yet, visit www.salarmycoincatch.com to test your skill and help someone in need in the process. Thank you again for your support of The Salvation Army and helping make this a record-breaking year!

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2009 Red Kettle Fundraiser Fact Sheet

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

2009 Red Kettle Income Fact Sheet – Numbers

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Salvation Army Red Kettles Set New Record!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The numbers are in, and U.S. donors contributed a record-breaking $139 million in nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars to The Salvation Army’s iconic Christmas Red Kettle Campaign this year! The results are encouraging because the generous public not only helped us reach it despite a difficult economy, but the funds are especially needed as demand for social services has skyrocketed.

“Our local Corps units are reporting demand for social services that is more than 400 percent above normal in some cases,” said Commissioner Israel L. Gaither, National Commander of The Salvation Army. “We needed help this year and Americans, as well as corporate partners responded in a big way.”

These are a few ways our corporate partners helped make a big impact for a great cause:

* Walmart and Sam’s Club:

Red Kettles located at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores accounted for as much as 29 percent of the total given. The Walmart Foundation also made a direct donation of $1.25 million.

* Kroger:

Kroger stores hosted Salvation Army Red Kettles at nearly 2,000 stores. Those donations raised approx. $11.3 million, or 8% of the campaign’s physical Red Kettle total.

* Target:

Target donated more than $1.25 million in cash and in-kind donations. They also collaborated with Hasbro, Inc. to give 5% of the purchase price of Hasbro toys bought at Target to The Salvation Army.

* JCPenney:

JCPenney and The Salvation Army launched the first-ever Online Angel Giving Tree Program. People could “adopt” Salvation Army “Angels” and deliver gifts via the Internet. Tens of thousands of children and seniors in need were adopted.

* The Weather Channel:

The Weather Channel promoted a compilation CD featuring a Salvation Army-themed single entitled, “Please Don’t Forget,” performed by Grammy Award winner Aaron Neville.

The Salvation Army also used some tech saavy methods to raise money, from a new Apple iPhone application, to Facebook and Twitter, and the Online Red Kettle. An additional $1.9 million was donated through the online Red Kettle. Other online donations totaled $9.6 million, a 5.6% increase over the $9.2 million raised in 2008.

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.

Thank you, America, for your generous support and making it possible for our continued service to those in need! For more information, read our press release here.

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