NEW YORK, December 1, 2020 – For more than 100 years, the Salvation Army has come to the rescue for millions of families and individuals during the holiday season through its iconic Red Kettles. This year, COVID-19 has had a crippling effect on the proven fundraiser, with fewer Kettles around the City, less foot traffic and tourists, and for many, less money to give. Coupled with that, New Yorkers are experiencing severe food insecurity and unprecedented need, including housing and help paying utilities. In fact, since COVID-19 hit, The Salvation Army Greater New York Division has provided more than six million meals to those in need. Now, it is refusing to let anything stand in its way of meeting the greatest need it has seen in decades.
On December 1, 2020, the Salvation Army Greater New York Division will debut the World’s Largest real Red Kettle in Times Square. A feat of engineering, the 7’ 6” aluminum Red Kettle will hang from a stand measuring 32’ tall and 16’ wide, with built-in LED lights that illuminate and sparkle. It offers interactivity with a text-to-donate feature triggering lights and bell sounds (text GiantRedKettle to 41444). The dazzling kettle was designed to amaze passers-by and literally stop them in their tracks to make a donation. The Kettle will be staffed with 24-hour security and local Corps officers with a traditional kettle for cash donations and to answer questions. All activity around the kettle will strictly adhere to COVID-19 safety regulations.
“The Salvation Army has one mission: to do the most good every single day. This year, the challenge is greater than ever before, and we are taking giant steps to meet it,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ricardo Fernandez. “We are placing our Giant Red Kettle in the middle of Times Square as a beacon to help feed, shelter, and provide a Merry Christmas to thousands of New Yorkers struck hard by COVID-19. This will be a new tradition to bring hope and to help those in need.”
The Kettle was made possible with the help of businessman and philanthropist, George N. Stonbely, who was instrumental in transforming Times Square into a family-friendly world destination. He was also behind the creation of the giant snowflake that hangs across Fifth Avenue at 57th Street, which has raised millions of dollars since its original installation. With the support of the Times Square Alliance, the Giant Red Kettle will progress from Times Square to the Meatpacking District, to Madison Square Park, to Astor Place, and back to Times Square from December 1st up to Christmas Day. For transport, it will break down into 8’ pieces and will take approximately six hours to assemble.
The Giant Red Kettle is part of the Salvation Army’s 2020 Rescue Christmas campaign, designed to make it easy for people to give in a wide variety of ways this holiday season, in light of the pressing need nationwide. For more information, visit giantredkettle.org.