The Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland Sets Out to “Rescue Christmas”.

Sep 14, 2020

Cleveland, OH (September 14, 2020) – For the first time in 130 years, The Salvation Army is starting its annual holiday fundraising campaign early across the country in order to rescue Christmas. The funds raised through the organization’s iconic red kettles are at risk this year due to COVID-19, while requests for services are at an all-time high.

Based on the increase in services already provided in response to the pandemic, the organization could serve up to 155 percent more people in 2020 with Christmas assistance, including putting food on the table, paying bills, providing shelter and helping place gifts under the tree – assuming the resources are available. "Across Greater Cleveland we provided 4,541 children with toys for Christmas last year. With the spike in service requests we have seen to date, we expect we anticipate over 6,000 children will need our help this holiday season," says Major, Thomas Applin, Divisional Secretary of Greater Cleveland Area Services.

At the same time, due to the closing of retail stores, consumers carrying less cash and coins, and the decline in foot traffic, The Salvation Army could see up to a 50 percent decrease in funds raised nationally through the red kettles, which would limit their capability to provide services for the most vulnerable. To put this in perspective, last year $126 million was raised nationally through about 30,000 red kettles. Locally, Greater Cleveland will plan to raise $650,000 through 135 red kettle locations in Cuyahoga County to support the efforts at the five Corps Community Centers in the area. 

"This holiday season, the needs in Greater Cleveland will be greater than ever. We expect to see large increases for our Christmas Assistance program. There will be new safety guidelines and contactless donation options for all kettle stands to ensure that we are doing part to flatten the curve to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We are grateful for all of our retail partners who are continuing to host our kettle stands and look forward to hearing the bell ringing this holiday season," stated Major Thomas Applin, Divisional Secretary of Greater Cleveland Area Services.

Since March, The Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland has provided more than 533,859 meals, and emotional and spiritual support to over 68,250 people in need. This represents a 48% increase in meals provided over last year. Now more than ever, they’re making it safer and simpler to donate in order to support the most vulnerable in Ohio:

• The best way to ensure that these vital services continue is to make a sustaining monthly gift of $25 per month by visiting:

• To help ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors and partners, The Salvation Army has adopted nationally mandated safety protocols.

• Donate digitally with Apple Pay or Google Pay at any red kettle in Ohio.

• Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specifying the amount.

• Give any amount by texting “OTHERS” to 41444.

Every donation provides help and hope to those in need, and all gifts stay within the community in which they are given. Visit to donate or learn more about how you can help The Salvation Army rescue Christmas this year for families in need. If you need services or know of someone in need, please visit to find a location near you.


About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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