The Salvation Army’s 123rd annual Red Kettle Campaign brought in just short of $136 million, almost 9 percent less than last year’s record $148.7 million. The total $135.9 million was $12.8 million less than what was raised in the 2012 campaign.
Due to the local nature of kettle donations, some areas actually had a record-breaking season, according to The Salvation Army. This year’s campaign also had five fewer days to the holiday, as well as icy weather that kept a lot of shoppers indoors across the country. The campaign traditionally runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, and this year that time period was shorter than usual because Thanksgiving was late in the calendar (Nov. 28).
Funds raised by the campaign account for anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of each unit’s budget for the following year.
“The Red Kettle Campaign is a crucial fundraising period for us, and the support we received will help us continue to provide services to more than 30 million people each year,” Maj. Ron Busroe, community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army’s National Headquarters, said via a statement announcing the totals.
The Online Red Kettle campaign totaled almost $2.4 million, up about 14 percent from last year’s $2.1 million, and 35 percent better than the $1.7 million raised in 2011. Other online donations during November and December totaled $21.6 million, up 1.8 percent from $21.2 million. Some $3.2 million was donated online on the last day of 2013, compared with $3.9 million in 2012.
Red Kettles outside Walmart, Sam’s Club, Kroger, JC Penney and Big Lots locations accounted for 43 percent of the total. Walmart locations raised $37.3 million, less than last year’s $40 million. Some 2,100 Kroger locations raised $13.2 million; Sam’s Club, $4.1 million; 700 JC Penney locations, $2.7 million, and 690 Big Lots locations, $1.3 million.
For the 17th year, the campaign was launched during halftime of the Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day game. Singer Selena Gomez performed live during halftime of the Cowboys game versus the Oakland Raiders in Dallas, Texas.
On #GivingTuesday, Dec. 3, The Salvation Army kicked off the third annual World Record Bell Ringing Contest. Six participants followed a set of strict rules to see if they could break last year’s record of 80 consecutive hours of bell ringing. Maj. Butch Soriano, Capt. Jim Brickson and Andre Thompson all reached the 105-hour mark before decided to put down their bells, breaking last year’s mark.