ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Salvation Army's iconic Red Kettle Campaign collected $147.3 million in 2016. Thanks to the support of donors and corporate partners, the money raised will help The Salvation Army provide food, shelter and social services to more than 25 million Americans in need this year.
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"Despite fluctuating retail traffic across the country that affected the number of people getting out and donating into the kettles, the Red Kettle Campaign collected an impressive $147.3 million total," said Lt. Col. Ron Busroe, community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army's National Headquarters. "We were encouraged to see that despite these circumstances, Americans generously supported the work we do and helped us raise the campaign's fourth highest donation total in its 126-year history."
The Salvation Army enjoyed a jam-packed holiday season with initiatives new and old. Starting from the top:
The Salvation Army continued its #RedKettleReason initiative, a movement fueled by America's motivations for donating to the red kettles. New this season, The Salvation Army called on Americans to start their own #RedKettleReason fundraisers, and offered the opportunity to designate their contributions to support cause areas that fight hunger, provide shelter or ensure Christmas assistance for those in need.
Actor, producer and musician Nick Cannon led the charge in his second year as #RedKettleReason Ambassador, and he asked his fans to help him make Christmas bright for children and families in need.
Trick-shot artist Brodie Smith called attention to hunger relief with a series of amazing kettle trick shots, including one at AT&T Stadium, the home of 20-year Salvation Army partner, the Dallas Cowboys.
The first family of viral video, The Holderness Family, best known for their hit musical parody "Xmas Jammies," raised money for The Salvation Army's Christmas assistance programs with a remake of "Up on the Rooftop" to encourage support.
Beauty and lifestyle vlogger Dulce Candy called attention to the need for a safe place for children to go as she chronicled her afternoon volunteering at The Salvation Army's Los Angeles Daycare Center.
Jerry Jones and Charlotte Jones Anderson, along with The Salvation Army's National Commander, Commissioner David Jeffrey, kicked off the 2016 Red Kettle Campaign and celebrated 20 years of partnership with a satellite media tour at AT&T Stadium the day before Thanksgiving. The Dallas Cowboys also showcased the partnership and #RedKettleReason on national television just before a LIVE performance from country music star Eric Church during halftime of the Thanksgiving Day game. The campaign kickoff marked the 20th year the Cowboys organization has partnered with The Salvation Army to launch the iconic campaign during the nationally televised game. Since partnering with the team, the Red Kettle Campaign has raised nearly $2.2 billion.
The Dallas Cowboys also conducted a point-of-sale campaign through the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shops, both in-store and online, giving customers the option to add a donation to The Salvation Army to their purchase. A surprise uptick in awareness and donations was also spurred by Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's "Red Kettle Leap," which quickly became a trending topic on social media, during the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday, December 18. Elliott called on fans to donate to the Red Kettle Campaign in $21 increments, a nod to his jersey number. Those donations, including a $21,000 contribution from Ezekiel Elliott and a generous donation match of $21,000 from a Texas couple, totaled nearly $250,000.
Leading up to and on #GivingTuesday, November 29, The Salvation Army was seen and talked about during national media appearances on the TODAY show with Nick Cannon, Access Hollywood Live and Steve Harvey. The week of Christmas, TODAY aired a segment featuring a family helped by The Salvation Army's Christmas assistance program in Phoenix, AZ.
Corporate partners also contributed greatly to the success of the 2016 Red Kettle Campaign.
Red Kettles outside of 5,093 Walmart and Sam's Club locations across the U.S. collected $44.25 million, which contributed about 30 percent of the $147.3 million total. More than 2,400 locations of Kroger's family of stores hosted red kettles, raising a total of $16.9 million, or 11 percent of the $147.3 million total. Red Kettles at roughly 700 JCPenney stores collected a total of nearly $2.7 million for the campaign, 500 Big Lots locations raised $888,900 and 79 Bass Pro Shops locations raised nearly $400,000.
From November 25 through December 11, 715 Walmart stores hosted the fifth annual Fill the Truck event, collecting more than 80,000 coats and 4,000 toys for children during the holidays.
Hanes and The Salvation Army teamed up once again to provide socks to those in need. As part of their annual sock drive, Hanes donated 200,000 pairs of socks to The Salvation Army, bringing the total number of socks donated over the past eight years to more than 1.8 million pairs.
Between November 1 and December 31, Dr Pepper Snapple Group donated a portion of sales to The Salvation Army for every specially marked 7UP, CANADA DRY and SQUIRT 2-liter bottle, 20-ounce bottle and 12-pack sold.
Krispy Kreme hosted counter kettles at participating locations nationwide, raising over $27,000 for the Red Kettle Campaign. Krispy Kreme also donated a percentage of sales from Monday December 19, to The Salvation Army.
UPS ran its Wishes Delivered campaign with The Salvation Army included in its select group of charity partners to each receive $33,333. For every wish submitted with the campaign's hashtag, UPS donated $1 and shared stories of the people and organizations who are solving problems to make a difference in communities.
Cricket Wireless donated $1 per "like" on a participating local Cricket Wireless store Facebook page, raising nearly $41,000 for The Salvation Army to purchase toys for children in need offering something to smile about during the holidays.
During the holidays, 3.3 million people rely on The Salvation Army to provide their families with a warm meal or toys for children on Christmas Day. In addition to the help provided during the holiday season, donations made to the red kettles help the Army provide more than 10 million nights of shelter, nearly 57 million meals and programming such as substance abuse recovery, after-school programs and emergency shelter for children and families in need year-round. In all, The Salvation Army is able to help more than 25 million people each year, thanks in large part to people's generous donations.
From its humble beginnings as a program 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 campaigns in the United States. It provides toys for kids, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry and countless social service programs year-round. More than 25,000 Salvation Army volunteers throughout the country ring bells and solicit donations to the red kettles.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. For every dollar donated to The Salvation Army, 82 cents is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). For more information, go to salvationarmyusa.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.
SOURCE The Salvation Army