A Successful Christmas Season Thanks to Our Donors and Volunteers

The Salvation Army Christmas Campaign runs October 1 through January 31, and this year the campaign raised more than $25 million in financial and in-kind donations for our programs and services. We also continued several initiatives designed to recruit volunteers and remind clients of important services available to them.

Through the Register to Ring’s campaign – Ring It On! – the Army recruited 1,518 volunteer bellringers who manned kettles for a total of 20,581 hours. Volunteer bellringers – especially groups and musicians – are a favorite among kettle donors, increasing donations an average of $15 per hour. This year, we had 362 groups including members of the John Hersey High School Charles Dickens singers, Columbia College Saxophone Quartet, Lyft Chicago Ambassadors and Chicago Southside Gaelic Fire Brigade.


The Christmas Campaign caught some Cubs Fever when Ryan Dempster, former Chicago Cubs pitcher and current special assistant to the president, joined the Army as the Red Kettle Chair. Dempster is known for his Harry Caray impersonation, and channeled the legendary broadcaster for a kettle-themed public service announcement. He also spent a few hours ringing a bell at Celebrity Corner at the Macy’s downtown at State and Washington streets. Dempster also hosted an online kettle and a lucky donor received an autographed jersey.

The Army also renewed the advertising campaign aimed at reaching out directly to people most in need. This year’s street campaign focused on providing shelter, warmth and food for those in need. Individuals were directed to call 311, visit 10 S. Kedzie – where the Army is providing homeless assessments and referrals for the City of Chicago. The campaign included signs posted on CTA buses and warming shelters, and digital billboards.

If you or someone you know needs somewhere to sleep, please visit 10 S. Kedzie or call 311. ❤️

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We are grateful to our donors and volunteers for their generous support during the holiday season. You helped make the holidays brighter for families in need, and provide for services in the year to come.

To learn about more volunteer opportunities at The Salvation Army visit www.salarmychicago.org/volunteer or sign up for mobile alerts by texting VOLUNTEER to 51555.

Christmas Holiday Roundup

Red KettlesHoliday MealsAngel TreeCoat Drives
  • 1,079 Red Kettles throughout Chicagoland
  • $3,874,147 donations raised!
  • 2,949 volunteer bellringers.

That’s a total of 125,151 hours ringing bells!

  • 100 turkeys were donated by Butterball for Thanskgiving meals at Harbor Light Center
  • 389 meals were served at Harbor Light Center for Thanksgiving dinner
  • 374 Thanksgiving meals were served through the Mobile Feeding and Homeless Outreach program
  • 10,800 dinner boxes were given to families this Christmas.
  • 104,334 gifts provided
  • 12,989 families served
  • 2,000 gifts received through Virtual Angel Tree

That’s 24,639 coat donated! Almost 5,000 more than last year!

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