Bells could ring as early as October for Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign

Pandemic blamed for early start of fundraiser that usually starts in November
Published: Sep. 20, 2020 at 6:16 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -It typically helps launch the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season. This year though, get ready to hear the bells for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign starting in October.

“There are so many stores that have closed, foot traffic has been considerably reduced,” said Major John Brackenbury, the divisional commander. “As well as the fact people are not going to be carrying cash or coins. there’s a shortage of coins.”

Brackenbury says the pandemic could cause a 50-percent decrease in donations collected by the campaign across the country. That’s forced the earlier start to help rescue Christmas.

“The need we are seeing this year, right now, is so great we are very concerned about the number of people coming to us during the holidays, and ensuring we have enough resources to help them,” Brackenbury said.

The Salvation Army predicts it will help more than 13,000 people around Anchorage during the holidays. That’s close to 5,000 more than last year.

The goal of this year’s Red Kettle campaign hopes to raise $660,000. That’s money to help people across the state.

“It provides food, it provides toys, it provides utilities, rental assistance,” Brackenbury said. “Those dollars go well beyond the month of December.”

To do that, the Salvation Army needs the public’s help to rescue Christmas.

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