Nickels, dimes and quarters
added up quickly last Christmas despite the economic slump as Americans donated
a record $139 million to the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign.
“America is an incredibly generous nation and philanthropy is
alive and well, despite the current economic conditions impacting so many,” said
Commissioner Israel L. Gaither, national commander of the Salvation Army.
“We are grateful for every
donor, volunteer and corporate partner for supporting the Salvation Army’s mission
by giving more than ever during a time when some have so little to give.”
Bell ringers set up the
signature red kettles in front of an estimated 25,000 locations across America
on Thanksgiving Day. The Salvation Army reported a 7 percent increase in giving
over the $130 million record of 2008.
The Red Kettle campaign, the
nation’s longest running annual fundraising campaign, helps Salvation Army
provide more than 28 million Americans with food, shelter, rent, substance
abuse treatment and Christmas assistance each year.
Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club
locations partnered with the Salvation Army to raise 29 percent of the total
amount of the campaign. The Wal-Mart Foundation also made a direct donation of
Kroger stores in nearly
2,000 locations accounted for $11.3 million or eight percent of the total.
addition to hosting kettles, Target stores teamed up with toymaker Hasbro, Inc.
and donated 5 percent of some sales of selected Hasbro toys to the Salvation
Army. Target donated more than $1.25 million total.