The need is greater than ever Image The need is greater than ever Image

The need is greater than ever

With fewer Red Kettles to aid those in need, your gift of $25/month helps rescue Christmas for the most vulnerable

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Watch the Rock the Red Kettle Special

Sony Music Nashville and Sinclair Broadcast Group have partnered with The Salvation Army to help rescue Christmas for millions of Americans in need.

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Because of COVID-19, the need is greater

The Salvation Army expects to see a greater need for our services – more than any in recent history.

Unemployment rates are expected to be 10%-11%, and based on the increased service we’ve already provided this year due to COVID-19, we need resources to serve up to 155% more people with Christmas assistance. 

Because of COVID-19, the need is greater

COVID-19 has not only created a bigger need for us to fill, it has also decreased the number of traditional red kettles you’re used to seeing on street corners and at store entrances each Christmas season. A decrease in Red Kettle funds is due to several factors, including:

  • Consumers carrying less cash and fewer coins
  • More online shopping, which means less foot traffic in shopping areas
  • Unemployment rates
  • Recent closures of some brick-and-mortar retail stores

Our work this holiday season is going to be even more crucial to serve the most vulnerable – regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or gender orientation – in your community.

Find help this holiday season

We’re serving people who have been impacted by COVID-19 all around the country.

If you or a loved one needs help, please contact your local Salvation Army to see what services are available in your area.


Rock the Red Kettle to Help Rescue Christmas

Watch the entire 2020 Red Kettle concert below


Sony Music Nashville and Sinclair Broadcast Group partnered with The Salvation Army to help rescue Christmas for millions of Americans in need in 2020. Robert Counts, Adam Doleac, Niko Moon, Mitchell Tenpenny and Rachel Wammack performed Christmas favorites on the Rock the Red Kettle special in an effort to uplift and encourage viewers to help rescue Christmas by supporting The Salvation Army’s relief efforts.

In a year when millions more Americans are in need due to the impacts of COVID-19, and when The Salvation Army expected a 50% decrease in funds raised through the iconic Red Kettles, the need for awareness and public support has been more important than ever.

Produced by Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Rock the Red Kettle special aired exclusively on Sinclair’s free, over-the-top streaming platform STIRR on December 16.

The entire special is now available through The Salvation Army’s partnership with Sony Music Nashville on YouTube.

Help us assist families in need this Christmas season,
and throughout the year

Donate Now

Celebrities Join Forces With The Salvation Army to Help Rescue Christmas for Millions in Need

The Salvation Army is teamed up with an "Army of Ambassadors" to emphasize the importance of giving due to unprecedented need during the 130th Red Kettle Campaign.

The “Army of Ambassadors” included Former First Lady of the United States Laura Bush; actress, executive producer and New York Times best-selling author Candace Cameron Bure; television host, author and activist Karamo Brown; global entertainer Kane Brown; and DJ, media personality, record executive and record producer DJ Khaled.

Throughout the holiday season, ambassadors experienced The Salvation Army’s services firsthand, and were able to see and feel the impact they have on people’s lives.

Here’s how your Christmas giving lifts your entire community

  • From January to August, The Salvation Army Alaska served 22,500 food boxes, almost double the amount from this time last year. Each food box provides 20 meals to families in need. In addition, they served 186,300 home-delivered meals, up 76,300 meals from the previous year. 
  • Sun Cities Corps served 50,000-plus meals, not including water and snacks, to local families and seniors facing food insecurities; Kingman Service Center recently converted a thrift store into a self-selecting pantry; and community partner Cox made and delivered care packages to Silvercrest senior residents.
  • For community members looking to help Rescue Christmas for the most vulnerable in their community, Arizona asks that you volunteer at Red Kettles, adopt a Christmas Angel, and volunteer to help serve holiday meals.
  • This holiday season, The Salvation Army Arizona expects to provide 15,000 meals to families in need, and provide presents to 52,000 children through the Angel Tree program. 
  • The Arizona Coyotes hockey team is launching a Virtual 5K run, presented by Gila River Hotels & Casinos, from December 16-20 to benefit The Salvation Army's Rescue Christmas efforts in metro Phoenix.
  • Every year, the 3TV and CBS 5 Christmas Angel program in metro Phoenix serves more than 50,000 children by providing Christmas gifts to children in need. Click here for a link to the page with details:
  • The Salvation Army Arkansas made food boxes available to the public via drive-thru service, worked with partners to deliver food boxes and gift cards to those facing food insecurity, and delivered meals to essential healthcare workers at testing sites.
  • For community members looking to help Rescue Christmas for the most vulnerable in their community, Arkansas asks that you host a virtual online Red Kettle by going to You can also volunteer to ring a bell at the Red Kettles by going to, or adopt an angel off a traditional Angel Tree or at
  • We’ve served more than 15,700 food boxes this year, along with more than 95,000 meals.
  • The Salvation Army Grand Junction is partnering with Toys for Tots to combine their efforts for toy collection and distribution this year. In addition, they began operation of seven motel/hotel shelters in Denver due to COVID-19. In the Denver Metro area, they will be transitioning from large congregate Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to delivered meals for 900 hotel guests and over 200 in Silvercrest facilities.
  • For community members looking to help Rescue Christmas for the most vulnerable in their community, Colorado asks that you volunteer for the following: sorting toys, packing toys, assembling Thanksgiving and Christmas to-go meals.
  • Due to COVID-19, service numbers have increased substantially. From January to August 2020, The Salvation Army Colorado served 55,000 food boxes, up from 23,400 in 2019. They also have served 779,000 meals (including home-delivered), up from 476,700 in 2019. 
  • The Intermountain Division (CO, MT. UT, WY) is using a virtual kettle ambassador program developed by the Del Oro Division. Visit the website to learn how you can get involved:
  • For community members looking to help Rescue Christmas for the most vulnerable in their community, The Salvation Army Delaware asks that you volunteer for bell ringing and the sorting, shopping, and distribution of food and toys.
  • The Salvation Army Florida will be conducting a 20,000-meal distribution for Thanksgiving in Orlando in addition to providing drive-through Angel Tree distribution. This holiday season, they expect to serve 168,000 holiday meals during Thanksgiving and Christmas, and to gift 300,000 families through the Angel Tree program.
  • The Salvation Army Georgia has been answering the call to serve those impacted by COVID-19 this holiday season. They anticipate serving 16,250 holiday meals, a 30% increase from last year, and to provide presents to 164,000 children through the Angel Tree program, also a 30% increase from 2019. 

For community members looking to help Rescue Christmas for the most vulnerable in their community, The Salvation Army Hawaii asks that you grant a miracle to a keiki or family in need this season through our Angel Tree program. There are several ways to help: 

  • Pick up and fulfill Angel Tree tags
  • Send a gift through the online registry 
  • Donate or raise Angel Tree funds online
  • Become an Angel Tree sponsor

Virtual Rescue Christmas Efforts:

  • In Indiana, The Salvation Army expects to serve 20,466 Christmas meals or food boxes this year. In addition, they hope to Rescue Christmas for nearly 28,000 children in need. 
  • Since the pandemic began, we’ve provided over 600 food pantry boxes, 1,600 grocery giveaway boxes, and over 1,500 meals. In 2019, we saw 300 new clients, while in the first 8 months of 2020, we exceeded more than 400 new clients.
  • We expect to serve around 100 children through our Angel Tree program this year.
  • We typically provide more than 100 Christmas food boxes to families in need.
  • Governor Kim Reynolds is set to make a proclamation in November about The Salvation Army’s efforts to help Rescue Christmas. They expect to serve 6,000 holiday meals this year and help provide presents for over 15,000 children and families in need. 
  • The Salvation Army Kansas expects to provide 1,000 Thanksgiving and Christmas Day meals as well as 4,500 Christmas food boxes for families in need. In addition, their Angel Tree program has expanded to include virtual options for donors, and they are collecting and distributing coats and other cold-weather items to families in need this winter. 
  • The Salvation Army Kentucky has had an increased volume and frequency of food-box distribution due to COVID-19 and will be expanding their Angel Tree programs for infants, children, seniors, and children with special needs this year. They expect to serve nearly 19,000 children in need in 2020, a 23% year-over-year increase. 
  • The Salvation Army Maine expects to provide 1,800 meals during the giving season, a 50% increase due to COVID-19. In addition, they hope to Rescue Christmas for 14,000 children through the Angel Tree program this year. 
  • The Salvation Army Massachusetts has provided 12 million meals to those in need since March.
  • The Salvation Army of Goshen uses Pancake Day to kick off the holiday season of giving and emergency support. But the funds gathered work all year with programs for everyone from children to retirees. The annual Pancake Day is a way to support this important work in the community. In the past, the event has raised over $75,000.
  • The Salvation Army Michigan has served over 125,000 meals since March and expects to serve over 15,000 children through the Angel Tree program this holiday season. 
  • The Salvation Army is mentioned as a part of Detroit's virtual tree lighting ceremony lineup.
  • The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board has added philanthropist and community advocate Jennifer Granger; Jennifer Granger and Lt. Colonel John Turner are interviewed.
  • The Salvation Army is briefly mentioned as DDP CEO Eric Larson shares an overview of the City of Detroit's tree lighting special.
  • This year, we have purchased 12,800 Kroger cards at $15 each to replace food boxes, shifted online applications for assistance gift cards, including toys gift cards at $20 per child. Food gift cards have been given in $15 increments per family size.
  • This year, The Salvation Army Minnesota has a partnership with Hubbard Broadcasting in the Twin Cities to “Stuff the Sleigh” in support of the Toy Shop initiative. They will also be hosting a turkey distribution for families in need during the holidays. They expect to provide 1,500 Christmas meals and give out 500 food boxes at Thanksgiving – beyond the COVID-19 programs still in progress. 
  • The Salvation Army Northern Division has distributed nearly 3 million meals since mid-March. Roughly 85% of the meals have been distributed as food pantry boxes (about 95,000 boxes, estimated at 27 meals per box). Approximately 85% of these meals have been distributed in Minnesota alone.
  • A series of new videos were created for a variety of purposes this fall:
  • Our toy shop registration is underway. Last year, we distributed 17,000 toys in the Twin Cities.



  • From January to August 2020, The Salvation Army Montana has served 76,300 meals, up from 71,000 this time last year.  
  • The Salvation Army Nebraska will be hosting TurkeyFest, where 1,500 Thanksgiving dinners will be delivered on Thanksgiving morning to families in need. They are also hosting an Adopt-a-Family Radiothon and Toyland, where nearly 4,000 families in need will be helped this holiday season. 
  • The Salvation Army New Hampshire expects to serve 1,500 holiday meals, including food pantry and grocery vouchers. This is an anticipated 50% increase because of COVID-19. In addition, they hope to Recue Christmas for nearly 12,000 children in need in the community through the Angel Tree program.
  • Meet Salvation Army Major Richard Starkey:
  • Since the beginning of the year, The Salvation Army New Jersey has served 5.7 million meals, including food boxes and grocery vouchers, a 578% increase over last year. Heading into the holiday season, they expect to provide presents for 21,000 children through the Angel Tree program.
  • All 37 of Brewer Oil Company’s gas stations and convenience stores in New Mexico participated in a four-week fundraiser for The Salvation Army that raised nearly $30,000 for families in need this holiday season. 
  • COVID-19 update Nov. 18: Salvation Army kettles removed:
  • It’s no surprise that The Salvation Army Greater New York has been hard at work serving those in need in their community. Since January, they have provided 5,105,139 meals (up nearly 1 million since last year). The need for services due to COVID-19 is going to carry on into the holiday season. They anticipate a 50% increase in all services this holiday season, as well as a 60% decrease in anticipated donation participation.
  •  See new stories released on our YouTube:
  •  As of November 19, 2020, we’ve served 300,851 prepared meals, 237,926 food boxes and grocery bags, totaling more than 6 million meals served in 2020.
  • We anticipate serving 40,000 gifts to 16,000 children through our 2020 Angel Tree program.
  • The Salvation Army North Carolina will be active helping to Rescue Christmas this year. They will be providing Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for families and individuals in need, providing presents through the Angel Tree program for children, and activating the Silver Bells program for senior citizens. Through the Angel Tree program, they anticipate serving 75,000 children and families in North Carolina.  
  • Since May, Mills Automotive Group has partnered with The Salvation Army in multiple communities to provide food boxes.
  • We’ve served 290,174 meals and boxes of food throughout North Carolina so far this year.
  • We’ve served nearly 14,500 food boxes and over 235,000 meals so far this year.
  • The Salvation Army in the Portland Metro area launched Operation Share Hope, a coordinated effort of three corps to reach more people in need with food boxes in response to COVID-19. 
  • Their Christmas assistance has also changed this year due to COVID-19. Rather than a shopping-style Toy Shop for Christmas assistance, The Salvation Army across the Portland Metro area will implement a drive-thru pickup system for toys and food.
  • We’ve expanded our virtual kettle ambassador program on our website. Please visit to learn how you can become a virtual kettle ambassador.
  • The Salvation Army Pennsylvania will partner with a local radio station to conduct Treasures for Children to gather donated toys via drive-thru. This program served 35,127 children and 504 gifts last year. Between holiday gifts and meals, they expect a 155% increase this year with Christmas assistance. In addition, they will also have holiday meal distribution in partnership with Schwan’s to distribute 2,500 family meal boxes to local families.
  • Beyond the Red Kettle Rescue Christmas Video:
  • Christmas Assistance Video:
  • “Hope for All” Worship Series on Cornerstone TV in Pittsburgh, next episode focuses on Rescue Christmas:
  • We’re delivering 2,500 Christmas Meals Through Schwan’s and hosting a Red Kettle Kickoff Popup Event, which will include a DJ and Santa Claus traveling through town with Captain Susan Thwaite and participating local businesses. We’re also hosting a Snowman Trail event display at a local mall.
  • The Salvation Army Western PA Division provided 256,054 meals and 72,118 food boxes during the first three months of the pandemic, equal to 70% of the total meals and 50% of the total food boxes provided throughout the twelve full months of last fiscal year.
  • Last year, we provided 100,000 toys to children through our Angel Tree program. We anticipate this number will be higher this year.
  • The Salvation Army South Carolina will be active helping to Rescue Christmas this year. They will be providing Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for families and individuals in need, providing presents through the Angel Tree program for children, and activating the Silver Bells program for senior citizens. Through the Angel Tree program, they anticipate serving 25,000 children and families in South Carolina.  
  • A little boy had one thing on his Angel Tree wish list this year: to meet a real reindeer. Thanks to The Salvation Army officers in Aiken, SC, his wish came true:
  • We have distributed more than 179,000 food boxes and meals throughout South Carolina.
  • The Salvation Army South Dakota hosted a Kettle Season Kickoff in Rapid City and a Harvest Festival Virtual Auction in Sioux Falls. Proceeds will help them Rescue Christmas for those in need in their community. They expect a minimum 25% increase in Christmas-assistance requests this year.
  • The Salvation Army Tennessee typically serves about 13,500 holiday meals each year. Due to COVID-19, they expect this to increase approximately 22% year over year. In addition, they also expect the number of children served through the Angel Tree program to increase 31%; last year, 21,500 children were served.  
  • Since the beginning of the year, The Salvation Army Texas has served more than 2.3 million meals. They anticipate serving more than 100,000 children through the Angel Tree program this year. 
  • Like many other locations around the country, The Salvation Army Utah saw an increase in service due to COVID-19. In 2019, they served 13,000 food boxes January-August. This year, that increased to 17,000. 
  • The Salvation Army Vermont is planning to help Rescue Christmas for 400 children through their Angel Tree program this year. 
  • The Salvation Army Washington is serving those in need this year. They have served 212,200 food boxes since January, and 482 meal boxes (including home-delivered). This is an increase from the 188,000 food boxes and 554,000 meals last year.  
  • The Salvation Army Wyoming is responding to those in need – providing 31,000 food boxes since January, up from 11,800 food boxes last year. 
  • For community members looking to help Rescue Christmas, The Salvation Army Wyoming is asking for volunteers to help sort and pack toys. 
We have no information for this area yet.
Check back soon for more details.

Help us assist families in need this Christmas season,
and throughout the year

Donate Now

Here are a few things your giving supports

Homeless shelters

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are like those we experienced after disasters like hurricanes Katrina, Ike, and Harvey. Only this time, the losses are across the entire country and will be longer lasting. And as with any disaster, we are there, on the ground, providing physical, emotional, and spiritual support. The Salvation Army serves those in need 365 days a year through homeless shelters, traditional housing, permanent supportive housing, and re-entry resources.

Grocery assistance

According to recent U.S. Census Bureau statistics, “26 million adults – 10.8% of all adults in the country – reported that their household sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat in the past seven days” because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve already seen it. Grocery delivery is the most requested service The Salvation Army has been providing during the pandemic. Our food pantries and meal programs will be stretched to capacity to fulfill the need this holiday season, so we’ll need your generosity to make sure no one goes unfed.

Angel Tree Program

Economic pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic will force millions of parents to choose between paying rent/utilities and buying Christmas presents. In fact, we expect an additional 1.6 million more people will seek our help to make Christmas brighter this year. In a typical year, we put new clothes and toys under the tree for 1 million children who usually must go without Christmas gifts. Anonymous donors adopt these little “angels” in an expanding Christmas tradition that makes the season more rewarding for the gift giver and happier for the receiver. This year, please consider taking a few more angels off the tree or donating gifts in bulk.

Bill-pay assistance

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on families who were already struggling to pay the bills. In fact, about 12 million families missed mortgage or rent payments in March. Of those, 7.8 million families are also struggling to provide meals, an increase of 1.8 million families since before the pandemic. The devastation is along the lines of the 2008 recession, with 8 million families in danger of missing their mortgage payments or rent.

The Salvation Army helps struggling households pay their utility bills, offsetting the added financial burdens that come with Christmas-season expenses. This allows low-income families to maintain self-dignity and stability while keeping up with their bills and keeping the heat on during those cold winter months.

 Serving All Without Discrimination

In providing its programs and services to the needy and underserved during the holidays, The Salvation Army is committed to accommodating all those in need without unlawful discrimination or harassment based on age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, disability, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic in accordance with our capacity to help.

This Christmas, help us make a difference

Help us give hope to those in need who feel forgotten.


Christmas stories of people we serve

Back in Control

After a challenging time in her life, the kind many are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic, Crystal checked into The Salvation Army’s family shelter at the Community of Hope in Lakeland, Florida. Her primary goal was to build a stable home for herself and her three children, especially after her recent eviction. 

Crystal enrolled in the Pathway of Hope program and quickly secured a job at a local restaurant. She was able to open a bank account to save money in order to transition out of the shelter and into stable, secure housing.

“I think Crystal’s story is really a perfect reminder that, through Pathway of Hope, we can really break the cycle of poverty for people who have faced hardships for large portions of their life,” said a Salvation Army social services program coordinator. “I think she’s a shining example of someone who really wanted to put in the work, and we were able to come alongside her in the journey.”

Crystal remains active in the Pathway of Hope initiative and plans to pursue her GED as well as secure a driver’s license. Her journey continues with an eye toward a better future, and her story stands as an illustration of what hard work and persistence can bring.

First-Time Need

Chelsey, a single mother of two children (one disabled) and U.S. Navy Veteran from Minnesota, has never needed help from The Salvation Army until the COVID-19 pandemic began. During the past two months, Chelsey has received groceries from The Salvation Army a half dozen times. She’s among the growing number of people who are first-time visitors to Salvation Army food pantries. 

Recently, she was able to return to work part-time. Although Chelsey will not need to rely on food assistance for much longer, she is happy to know that The Salvation Army and our supporters will always be here to help. 

Sweet Relief

Alicia, a full-time candy store employee and mother of four from York, Pennsylvania, had her hours cut drastically when COVID-19 struck the U.S., and she fell $2,000 behind on her rent. With no other options left, Alicia turned to The Salvation Army. Alicia received $1,000 to help with rent, and she was able to pay the other $1,000. The Salvation Army also helped her with food assistance to help further ease the financial burden.  

“This helped me out a lot,” Alicia said. “Without The Salvation Army, I don’t think we would be able to continue to stay in this house that we’re in now. Anyone looking for help – The Salvation Army is your best bet. They work with you, and when they say they’re willing to help you, they follow up, step by step.” 

Alicia is now back to work full-time and is continuing to work with The Salvation Army to earn her GED and high school diploma. 

Life-Saving Help

Mindy Reyes, a single mom of four kids, is still alive today thanks to a phone call from The Salvation Army. Mindy learned that she had contracted COVID-19 in late May. After her ex-husband refused to take care of her four young children, they all contracted the virus.

“The first three days I didn’t tell anybody,” Mindy said. “I didn’t have any family in the area and was scared. As I got sicker, I called The Salvation Army. I couldn’t handle it. Everybody was sick and we were running out of food.” 

The Salvation Army was able to bring the family food, but as time went on, Mindy’s health continued to worsen. A Salvation Army officer called her home a while later and after hearing the condition Mindy was in, called an ambulance which took her to the hospital just in time, saving her life. 

 Thank you to our partners

The Salvation Army is proud to partner with the following organizations who support our mission to meet human need during this holiday season.


Bass Pro Shops
Dallas Cowboys
Food Lion
Hobby Lobby
Lockheed Martin
Rural King
Sams Club
Sinclair Broadcast Group
Sony Music

PR contacts

National media relations are handled by The Salvation Army National Headquarters in Alexandria, VA, and its public relations consultant, Richards Partners.

All local media are asked to first contact their local Salvation Army representative for all inquiries, including spokesperson requests.

Territorial Press Contacts Local Contacts

For media queries, please contact:

Joseph Cohen
The Salvation Army


Interested in a national corporate partnership?

Contact Us

For other inquiries, contact your local Salvation Army:

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