ALTON - The Salvation Army is gearing up to start its annual holiday fundraising campaign 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.

The iconic Red Kettle campaign is the main fundraising event for The Salvation Army. Over $100,000 was raised last year in the Riverbend Area. Funds are used to support services which occur throughout the year for at-risk people in our community, and include food pantries, utility assistance, community lunch feeding programs, case management and guidance, community events, youth activities and the Christmas toy drive. Without the support and generosity of our community members, programs like these would not be able to happen.

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.

As a result, here in Alton, we are only able to have eight kettle stands out this year. They will be stationed at:

· Walgreens in Bethalto

· Schnucks in Bethalto

· WalMart grocery door in Wood River

· Schnucks in Wood River

· Walgreens in Godfrey

· Schnucks in Godfrey

· WalMart grocery door in Godfrey

· Schnucks in Alton

"This year we need to raise and exceed our goal of $103,000 so that we can keep these programs going and being able to financially help members of our community," Lieutenant Lily Reinier of the Alton Salvation Army. “We don’t want to have to turn people away from services but if we do not meet our goal we will have to cut back on programming and financial support to the community.

"This is something we really would hate to have to do. Our Red Kettle Campaign is extremely important to our mission here at The Salvation Army."

The Salvation Army has been providing support to The Riverbend Area for 131 years.

How people can help through this season:

Sign up to volunteer to ring at RegistertoRing.com or by calling 618-465-7764 and talk with Lt Lily.
Continue to donate as you pass a Red Kettle at local merchants.
Sign up for an online kettle at https://give.salvationarmyusa.org/team/328427... and raise money from the comfort of your own home. Create a team and go head to head with a family member, coworker, or friends. See who can raise the most money by Christmas EVE!

Those who prefer to do their shopping online can visit https://www.walmart.com/registry/registryforgood/cf73fafd-1f8e-4cf0-8fdf-ba34f786a547/view Through this site, customers can shop for gifts and have them delivered directly to The Salvation Army Alton corps building. Remember to round up your purchases!

Stop by the office and drop your donation off.

By Mail, send in a check and designate to Red Kettle efforts:
The Salvation Army
525 Alby Street
Alton, IL 62002

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About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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