Chicagoans, their suburban neighbors and people throughout the broader Northeastern Illinois and Northwestern Indiana region responded to record levels of need this holiday season by donating generously to The Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign. Donations to the Red Kettle campaign totaled $12.1 million. Red kettles were on streets and in shopping centers from November 19 through December 24, with major gifts and donations to on-line kettles continuing through January 31.
More than $2.6 million was dropped into area red kettles, and an additional $218,000 was donated on-line to virtual red kettles. The remainder was received in the form of major gifts and donations made directly to the campaign or via mail.
“We are so very thankful for the generosity Chicagoans have shown for their neighbors in need this holiday season,” said Lt. Col. Ralph Bukiewicz, Divisional Commander of the Metropolitan Division of The Salvation Army, “The people of our communities reached deep, often making sacrifices themselves, in order to bring joy and practical assistance to many people in need, and these donations will help us serve families, children, seniors, homeless and respond to disaster situations through the remainder of 2012.”
Though the campaign amount of $12.1 million fell short of The Salvation Army’s $13 million fundraising goal, it represented the second highest amount ever raised in the history of the Red Kettle campaign in Chicagoland.
A record number of 36 gold coins and hundreds of other precious coins were dropped in red kettles across a broad geographic area, from Waukegan to Naperville to South Holland – valuing nearly $30,000.
In 2011, gifts to the Red Kettle funds helped The Salvation Army’s Metropolitan Division assist 51,000 disaster victims, serve 1.5 million meals to the hungry, serve 2,900 homeless, provide 18,000 people with counseling and 28,000 care days to low-income children. The Salvation Army’s Metropolitan Division delivered more than 24,000 food baskets, 149,000 toys and 55,000 articles of clothing during the 2011 Christmas season.
“We hope the spirit of giving continues to reside in people’s’ hearts beyond the holidays,” Bukiewicz said. “Thanks to the generosity of our many donors, more than 100,000 of our neighbors in need were blessed with meals, toys, coats and clothing that brightened their holidays.”
“And far beyond the Christmas season, The Salvation Army will be there providing emergency assistance to families on the verge of losing their homes, shelter for the homeless, job training for the jobless, rehabilitation for people struggling with drug or alcohol, and so much more. These are the kinds of long-term support and assistance that the Salvation Army provides to help people transform their lives.”