I participated in a campaign on behalf of Influence Central for The Salvation Army. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
We've all seen The Salvation Army Red Kettle out in front of some of our favorite retailers around the holiday season, you could even call them a holiday staple... but did you know that The Salvation Army was established in London in 1865? The idea began to take shape in the States in 1891 when Captain McFee decided he wanted to provide the needy with a Christmas dinner, he thought back to when he was overseas and saw charitable donations pots... and well, the rest is history.
Today, donations to The Salvation Army help support local shelters, after school programs, addiction recovery programs, summer camps, disaster assistance and many other social services. Actually in 2013, The Salvation Army served more than 58 million meals to the needy. While 204,000 people received rehabilitation services through donations to Family Stores and over 203,000 underprivileged children attended day care and summer day camps! The Army also provided nearly 10 million nights of shelter to the homeless and 324,000 people received help during times of disaster. What's even more amazing is that more than 4 million families and children were served during the holidays and more than 1.8 million people received help through senior, medical and institutional services.
While the monetary donations are amazing, all the people that help The Salvation Army need to be recognized as well... Every single one of The Salvation Army’s 3,600 officers, 59,000 employees and 3.4 million volunteers has helped to serve nearly 30 million Americans in need in 2013! That’s almost one person, every second, every day! It's really incredible how many people The Salvation Army has helped, but they still need more donations and volunteers to continue to help more people in need.
Although Christmas is over and you probably won't find a bell ringer standing by a red kettle tomorrow, anyone can become a virtual bell ringer and raise money for their local communities by creating an Online Red Kettle at onlineredkettle.org. You can also text the word “KETTLE” to 80888 to make a $10 donation to support the campaign. Over the next few days The Salvation Army actually receives 1/3 of their online donations, probably because if you donate before January 1st you won't just be helping someone else - you can write off your donation on your taxes!