Keith Urban Kicks Off 2010 Salvation Army National Red Kettle Campaign with Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day
New Salvation Army National Commander Calls on Supporters to Give Through Online Red Kettle and Text-to-Give
Arlington, TX (November 24, 2010) – Country superstar and three-time Grammy award winner Keith Urban will kick-off The Salvation Army’s 2010 Red Kettle Christmas Campaign with a LIVE, nationally-televised halftime performance during the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game against defending Super Bowl champions, the New Orleans Saints.
The Thanksgiving Day game begins at 3:15 CST on the FOX television network, launching The Salvation Army’s iconic campaign which hosts red kettles on street corners and at storefronts nationwide through December 24. This year’s campaign also welcomes Commissioner William Roberts as The Salvation Army’s new National Commander who invites supporters to host their own Online Red Kettle and to give via mobile devices through the Army’s new text-to-give program.
Keith Urban’s performance at halftime will highlight the 14-year partnership between the Dallas Cowboys and The Salvation Army, which supports the 119-year old Red Kettle Campaign. Money raised during the campaign helps the Army serve people in need in communities across the country. During the Thanksgiving Day performance, Urban will play a number of his top hits, including his latest single “Put You in a Song” from his newest studio CD, Get Closer, which was released on November 16.
“Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, food and traditions like watching the Dallas Cowboys,” said Keith Urban. “Through my performance at halftime this year, I’ll be asking Americans to remember those less fortunate by digging deep and giving to The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign so they can help others this Christmas.”
The Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game halftime show has become an annual holiday tradition, officially launching the Red Kettle Campaign in the United States for the past 13 years. Since the partnership began in 1997, the Red Kettle Campaign has raised more than $1.3 billion. Previous halftime performers include Daughtry, Jonas Brothers, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow, Destiny’s Child, Toby Keith, LeAnn Rimes, Creed, Jessica Simpson, Billy Gillman, Clint Black, Randy Travis and Reba McEntire.
“Millions of people struggle to make ends meet every day and we are proud that Keith Urban will help the Dallas Cowboys and The Salvation Army bring attention to this need by launching the Red Kettle Campaign,” said Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones. “Thanks to Keith, millions of donors and volunteers will receive that message, and we know they will step up to help folks in need in their communities.”
The Salvation Army’s new National Commander, Commissioner William Roberts is calling on donors this year to embrace new technologies to help support the campaign. For the sixth year in a row, The Salvation Army will allow fans to become online bell-ringers by signing up to host an Online Red Kettle at www.onlineredkettle.org. The program allows individuals and organizations to host their own “virtual” red kettle on their personal, group or company website. Last year, Online Red Kettles raised nearly $2 million as thousands of people asked friends and families to give online. This year, the Army hopes to raise $3 million with improved Facebook functionality and an all-new Online Red Kettle iPhone application.
“The Salvation Army has a long standing tradition of helping people at the point of need, but as more people struggle every day, we’ve had to expand our outreach in new ways to raise awareness and money,” said Commissioner Roberts, who was commissioned as The Salvation Army’s National Commander on November 1. “The Online Red Kettle allows us to spread the word online, and a new text-to-give campaign enables anyone with a mobile device to give at the click of a button.”
The Salvation Army’s first national text-to-give program was launched on November 21. Through December 24, donors can text “GIVE” to 85944 to make a $10 donation to the Red Kettle Campaign.
The Salvation Army is also calling on donor support in the iPhone app store. The Army will provide a free update for the iPhone virtual “Bellringer” app initially released last year, which enables supporters to share in the tradition of being a bell-ringer – by ringing a virtual bell on their phone. The update will include new video content and also enable donations to the Red Kettle Campaign via text message. Digital music firm Melodeo will also offer “The Salvation Army Christmas Music” app, which streams a variety of Christmas songs. Priced at $2.99, $1.00 of each download will be donated to the Red Kettle Campaign.
Numerous corporate and retail partners will chip in to support the Red Kettle Campaign. JCPenney and The Salvation Army will partner for the second year to bring gifts to seniors and children in need through the Angel Giving Tree online program at www.jcp.com/angel. The program allows donors to adopt an “angel” in need and send them a Christmas gift. In 2009, the program spread Christmas cheer to nearly 40,000 kids and seniors in need nationwide.
Walmart, along with retailers including Kroger, Macy’s, Walgreens and JCPenney, will be hosting Salvation Army red kettles and bell-ringers at stores nationwide. In addition to hosting kettles at Walmart and Sam’s Club locations between November 26th and December 24th, Walmart will also make a generous $1 million donation to the Red Kettle Campaign for use in Salvation Army feeding programs.
The Salvation Army is also partnering with Hanes®, America's No. 1 Sock Brand, to deliver 1 million socks to people in need. Beginning December 1st, for every person who "likes" Hanes on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/Hanes) and clicks "Help Hanes Donate," the brand will donate one pair of actual socks toward its overall donation goal of 500,000 pairs (one million individual socks).
“Although the economic downturn may have ended, there is still a crisis taking place in America,” said Commissioner Roberts. “Every partner, program and initiative – from the Dallas Cowboys to Keith Urban and from Walmart to JCPenney– is critical in helping us provide services to 30 million people a year in nearly every community across the country.”
The Red Kettle Campaign, the oldest annual charitable fundraiser of its kind in the United States, helps raise money for those who need it most in communities nationwide – providing toys for kids, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry and countless social service programs year-round. 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. As part of the campaign, more than 25,000 Salvation Army volunteers spread throughout the country to ring bells and solicit donations to the iconic red kettles from holiday shoppers. In 2009, the campaign raised more than $139 million nationwide, a new record supported by the public’s nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars (and the occasional diamond ring or gold tooth) all collected and used to help people in the communities where the money was raised.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing 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. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.
About Keith Urban
In 2001, the Country Music Association honored Keith Urban with its Horizon Award, designating him a talented artist with a bright future and to this day Urban remains the only Horizon Award winner in history to go on to win the CMA’s Male Artist of the Year, a title he’s captured three times, and the coveted Entertainer of the Year. Nine years and nearly 15 million albums later, Keith is a three-time Grammy Award winner, who has also won a People’s Choice and an American Music Award. He’s won five Academy of Country Music Awards, had 11 #1s, including 21 Top 5 hits and two consecutive #1 CDs. He will release his sixth studio CD, Get Closer, on November 16th.
In December 2009, Urban was named the year’s most played country artist (at radio) thanks to #1 hits such as “Sweet Thing,” “You’ll Think of Me,” “Only You Can Love Me This Way,” “Better Life” and “Days Go By.” In addition, his 2002 smash “Somebody Like You” was named the #1 Country Song of the Decade by Nielsen BDS (based on radio airplay and audience impressions).
But Urban’s reputation as an elite songwriter, musician, vocalist and virtuoso guitarist is no more evident than when he is onstage. His electrifying concerts have played to sold-out venues from Australia to Germany to England to Canada and The United States and he’s received high praise from critics. In fact, 2009’s Escape Together World Tour, as well as 2007’s Love, Pain & the whole crazy World Tour, were both, according to Pollstar, one of the top grossing tours for their respective years.
About Gene & Jerry Jones Family Charities
In the area of community service, Gene and Jerry Jones Family Charities' mission is built upon an overall philosophy of helping those who don't have the strength, the resources or the means to help themselves. As a sports entity that has enjoyed unprecedented success and recognition for more than four decades, the Dallas Cowboys feel a very strong obligation to transfer that championship tradition and the magic that it creates toward the bigger purpose of making a difference in the community. More information about the Dallas Cowboys is available at www.dallascowboys.com.