INDIANAPOLIS — The Salvation Army is beginning its annual holiday fundraising campaign early this year in an attempt to "rescue Christmas."
Due to increased demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation's largest social services organization began collecting donations Monday. The Salvation Army typically waits until around Thanksgiving to begin holiday fundraising.
The Salvation Army anticipates it could see up to a 50% decrease in funds nationally through its red kettle campaign due to the closing of retail stores, consumers carrying less cash and coins and a decline in foot traffic.
In 2019, the Salvation Army raised $126 million nationally through about 30,000 red kettles, including $2.7 million in Indiana. According to the Salvation Army, it served 68,000 people last Christmas.
Based on the increase in services it has already provided in response to the pandemic, if resources are available, the Salvation Army anticipates it could serve up to 155% more people in 2020 with Christmas assistance, which includes putting food on the table, paying bills, providing shelter and helping people purchase gifts.
As a result of the pandemic, the Salvation Army encourages people to donate digitally and virtually. Ways people can donate include:
- Enlist in Love's army with a sustaining monthly gift of $25 per month.
- Donate digitally with Apple Pay or Google Pay at any red kettle in Indiana.
- Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specify the amount.
- Give any amount by texting “HOOSIER” to 24365.
- Talk to your local Salvation Army about how you can create a Virtual Red Kettle and raise money online to support local programs.
- Donate physical gifts in bulk.
- Adopt additional Angels to give hope and joy to kids and families in need through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.