By US Daily Review Staff.
The Salvation Army raised $147.6 million through the 2011 Red Kettle Campaign, marking a new fundraising record. 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 inSan Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has become a Christmas tradition that utilizes volunteers to ring bells at 25,000 red kettles nationwide. 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 superstarEnrique Iglesias performed LIVE, with special guest Pitbull, on a nationally televised stage on Thanksgiving Day, singing to more than 31 million Americans.
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 who helped the Army set a new fundraising record include:
- Walmart – $41.5 million raised
- Kroger – $13.1 million raised
- Sam’s Club – $5 million raised
- jcpenney – $3 million raised
- Big Lots – $1.4 million raised
The Walmart Foundation made a donation of $1 million to the Army as part of its effort to support hunger relief in America. 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 from Sam’s Club for a total donation of $200,000.
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.
Square, which donated credit card readers for The Salvation Army to use in test markets – San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas andNew York, helped make giving easier for donors. Sprint also donated smartphone devices to The Salvation Army to mobilize the credit card application.
To raise awareness during the campaign, The Salvation Army also hosted the inaugural World Record Bell Ringing Contest. Twenty-four bell ringers set out to surpass a benchmark of 36 hours of continuous ringing of a hand bell. 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 for 60 hours straight.