CHICAGO, IL (November 11, 2015) – On Friday, November 13, The Salvation Army will officially kick off its 2015 Christmas campaign with the iconic red kettles hitting the Chicagoland streets.
The 2015 Christmas campaign’s goal is to raise $17 million. The Salvation Army receives nearly 70 percent of its yearly donations during the campaign. The funds are used not only to support local holiday programs and services, but also to help it serve those in need throughout the entire year.
Mike Ditka, Pro Football Hall of Famer, Super Bowl-winning coach and Chicago Bears head coach (1982-1992), will serve as The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division’s 2015 Christmas campaign honorary chairperson.
“I have always had the utmost respect for The Salvation Army and the work that it does throughout Chicagoland, across the country and around the world,” said Ditka. “I am honored to serve as this year’s chair and look forward to helping raise awareness of the tremendous work of The Salvation Army – a team that’s ‘Doing the Most Good,’ right here in our hometown.”
Last year during the holiday season, The Salvation Army served more than 105,000 people in the Chicago area, distributing more than 16,000 food baskets, 42,000 articles of clothing and 131,000 toys.
Throughout the year, Christmas funds helped The Salvation Army’s Metropolitan Division provide a wide variety of services, including:
- 1.4 million meals to the hungry
- shelter for more than 200 families at the Evangeline Booth Lodge
- emergency rent, mortgage, clothing or utility assistance to 140,000 people in crisis
- 24,700 days worth of child care to low-income children
“For the past 130 years, The Salvation Army has been serving people in need in the Chicagoland area thanks to the generosity of our fellow Chicagoans,” said Lt. Colonel Charles Smith, Divisional Commander. “We are so thankful to Mike Ditka for helping us raise awareness and encourage much-needed donations to the red kettles that allow us to continue helping Chicago’s most vulnerable. I hope people will find it in their hearts to support our efforts, and we invite them to share their reasons for giving with the hashtag #RedKettleReason.”
The iconic red kettles will be on the streets through December 24. For those wishing to volunteer as bell ringers, The Salvation Army has launched the Register To Ring program that makes it easier than ever: Prospective volunteers can go to RegisterToRing.com and choose the locations, dates and times.
The Christmas campaign will continue online at salarmychicago.org through January 31, 2016, where donors can host their own online red kettle. In addition, donations may be made by texting ChicagoKettle to the number 71777. Yet another way to donate is by buying a toy or gift for a child in need through the new virtual Angel Tree program at chicagometro.theangelgivingtree.org.