ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- This year's Red Kettle Campaign collected almost $136 million thanks to the support of donors and corporate partners across the country. The money, raised between November 28 and December 24, will help The Salvation Army provide food, shelter and social services to those in need throughout the year, not just during Christmas.
"The Salvation Army is humbled by the support from millions of Americans who put money in our kettles every year," said Major Ron Busroe, community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army's National Headquarters. "The Red Kettle Campaign is a crucial fundraising period for us, and the support we received will help us continue to provide services to more than 30 million people each year."
The Salvation Army enjoyed a jam-packed holiday season with events and initiatives new and old. Starting from the top:
Multiplatinum recording artist Selena Gomez kicked off the Red Kettle Campaign with a live performance during halftime of the Dallas Cowboys-Oakland Raiders Thanksgiving Day game, marking the 17th year the Cowboys have partnered with The Salvation Army to launch the iconic campaign. The day before her performance, Selena "hung out" with eight of the top fundraisers for her Online Red Kettle team via Google Hangouts, a video conferencing platform.
Rising pop star Austin Mahone headlined the fourth annual Rock the Red Kettle Concert, which also featured performances by Emblem3, Coco Jones and Bean – and a special appearance by Kelly Rowland. Three members of Austin Mahone's Online Red Kettle team won the chance to fly to Los Angeles and meet Austin Mahone in person, and eight additional fans chatted with Austin virtually via Google Hangouts.
On December 2, in celebration of Giving Tuesday, Hanes and The Salvation Army teamed up again to provide food and socks to those in need in New York City. This year Hanes donated 250,000 socks to charitable organizations including The Salvation Army, bringing the total of socks donated over the past five years to 2.7 million.
On #GivingTuesday, December 3, The Salvation Army was seen and talked about during national media appearances on the TODAY show (in the first hour and fourth hour with Kathie Lee and Hoda), Access Hollywood, Access Hollywood Live and Steve Harvey. Also on #GivingTuesday, The Salvation Army kicked off the third annual World Record Bell Ringing Contest. Six participants followed a set of strict rules to see if they could break last year's record of 80 consecutive hours of bell ringing. The participants didn't just break the record; they smashed it! Major Butch Soriano, Captain Jim Brickson and Andre Thompson all reached the 105-hour mark before deciding to lay down their bells.
Online bell ringers continued to impact the campaign results by hosting a virtual kettle via onlineredkettle.org, This year, Online Red Kettle donations were up, totaling nearly $2.4 million compared to $2.1 million in 2012. Donations through salvationarmyusa.org totaled $21.6 million, with $3.2 million donated on the last day of the year.
Red Kettles outside of Walmart and Sam's Club locations across the U.S. collected $33.2 million and $4.1 million, respectively, which contributed 27 percent of the $135.9 million total. More than 2,100 Kroger stores hosted Red Kettles, raising a total of $13.2 million, or 9 percent of the $135.9 total. Roughly 700 JCPenney stores collected a total of $2.7 million for the campaign, and 690 Big Lots locations raised $1.3 million.
From November 29 through December 15, thousands of Walmart stores hosted the second annual Fill the Truck event. Fill the Truck collected more than 136,000 toys and 6,600 coats for children. Walmart also generously donated $1 million to the Red Kettle Campaign.
On January 2, The Salvation Army rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, signifying the end of a great Red Kettle Campaign and the start to a new year of Doing the Most Good.
Every year, The Salvation Army helps nearly 30 million people, roughly one person per second. Donations help provide more than 10 million nights of shelter, roughly 58 million meals, and after-school and substance abuse programs. During the holiday season, nearly 4.2 million people rely on The Salvation Army to provide their families with warm meals on Christmas Day or toys for their children. Through The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program, more than 1 million children receive necessities and toys.
About The Salvation Army
Established in London in 1865, The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter for the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org.
SOURCE The Salvation Army