'Help rescue Christmas:' Salvation Army launches Red Kettle Campaign

Starting Friday, Nov. 13 you'll hear the familiar sound of the holidays. It's an iconic sound that signals the start of the holiday season. The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign kicks off today, but just like everything else this year, it's going to look different.

"Your change can make change in someone’s life and we want that to happen," said Major Steve Woodard, Coordinator for The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County.

The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign is hoping to raise $3,150,000 this year to help people in need. 

Major Steve Woodard

"That’s our goal in helping those families to say ‘you’re not alone,’ ‘you’re not forgotten in this type of pandemic.’ We want to walk alongside you," said Woodard. 

The bell-ringing experience will be modified this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Bell ringers will wear masks, stand six feet away from the kettle and sanitize the kettle after each donation. People can also give virtually. 

Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign

"There are ways to give online at samilwaukee.org, you can text to give ‘MKE’ to 24365, there are ways to give in that regard or you can set up your own virtual kettle set up through Fundraiser for Good," said Woodard. 

This year's campaign is called "Rescue Christmas" -- as the need has grown with the pandemic. 

"Our local Salvation Army’s that are reaching out day in and day out, they’re seeing different numbers, they’re seeing different people that haven’t been affected in the past struggling through that. We all have seen that through jobs and businesses that have closed because they’re not making it through the COVID-19 pandemic," said Woodard. 

The Red Kettle donations go much further than just the holidays. 

Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign

"That hope and that joy that we want to give to those families and those kids as they wake up on Christmas morning but not on just that day. Every day," said Woodard.

Even the smallest gift can make an impact. 

"I hope that people just have a smile on their face when they hear that bell… it just triggers something," said Woodard. 

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Donations help provide winter coats for kids and adults, toys for Christmas, a warm and safe place for the homeless, summer meals, backpacks and school supplies, and disaster services, to name a few.

Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign

There are several ways to help give back throughout the season:

  • Sign up to be a bell ringer at www.registertoring.com (Due to COVID-19 all bell ringers will wear masks, wipe down kettles after each donation, wear gloves, and will stand six feet away from the kettle)
  • Sign up to volunteer for any of our holiday programs (Coats for Kids, Toy Shop, Christmas Family Feast) at http://bit.ly/TSAMKEHolidayVolunteers

Donation opportunities:

  • Donate by mail by sending a check to The Salvation Army, 11315 W. Watertown Plank Road, Wauwatosa, WI 53226
  • Donate by phone by texting MKE to 24365
  • Donate online at SAMilwaukee.org

Fundraising opportunities:

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