Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign kicks off Thursday

The Salvation Army of Greater Rochester will kick off its 2021 Red Kettle Campaign and announce this year’s fundraising goal on Thursday in the center court at Marketplace Mall.

This year’s honorary Red Kettle Campaign chairperson also will also be announced at the event. Organizers will put out a call for bell ringers, new donations and give details about the onset of a new, county-wide contest, “The Battle of the Bells.”

The Red Kettle Campaign is a holiday tradition for many local groups and individuals who want to help impact the Salvation Army’s ability to serve others. Donations to the Red Kettle Campaign provide services to men, women and children in the community as well as provide meals, shelter and other necessities to people in need throughout the year.

The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. The nonprofit organization has been in Rochester since 1884, and last year, more than 26,000 bags of groceries and some 30,000 nights of lodging were provided for those in the most need locally.

The Nov. 11 event will take place at 10 a.m. and be attended by Major Douglas Burr, Salvation Army Finger Lakes Ministry Coordinator; Monroe County Executive Adam Bello; and the Red Kettle Campaign Chairperson 2021.

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Salvation Army, Red Wings team for Red Kettle kickoff

The Salvation Army of Greater Rochester has teamed with the Rochester Red Wings on its annual Red Kettle Campaign.

With less than 100 days until Christmas, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign is set to begin collecting monetary donations and names of voluntary bell ringers. The Rochester Red Wings will contribute to the cause by hosting Red Wing Red Kettle night at its Sept. 30 home game. When the gates open for the game next week, the iconic Salvation Army bells will ring.

Monetary donations and volunteer actions make up two major parts of the Salvation Army’s annual campaign. Each year, the organization works from early fall through the holiday season to recruit volunteers, collect donations and educate others on how it provides shelter, food, educational resources and life-enhancing support to those in need in the community.

“Baseball is one of our country’s greatest sports, but it’s experiences like this that allow the public to witness a different kind of teamwork. At this game, we will build on each other’s passion for our community. Working together makes both of our local organizations stronger,” said Major Debbie Burr, director of county operations for the Salvation Army of Greater Rochester. “It’s a win-win-win when our MiLB team helps us bring awareness to get others involved. The Rochester Red Wing fans can enjoy one of the last games of the season while giving back to their neighbors in need.”

The Sept. 30 collaboration is the first effort between the Salvation Army and the Red Wings through a game-day event.

“We look forward to partnering with the Salvation Army and all their supporters on Thursday, Sept. 30, at our 6:05 game,” said Red Wings General Manager Dan Mason. “We can’t wait to educate our fans about the great work of the Salvation Army and the goods and services they provide for the less fortunate in our community. Together we can encourage our fans to help provide support to the Salvation Army however they feel appropriate, either as volunteers or donors.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the Salvation Army has provided more than 4,500 meal bags and served more than 10,000 individuals with clothing, meal vouchers, essential supplies and emergency housing, officials said. Services include homeless shelters, day camps, after-school programs and extracurricular activities to help kids and families succeed.

Tickets for the Sept. 30 game can be purchased at

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Salvation Army begins Red Kettle campaign early

For the first time in 130 years, the Salvation Army started its annual holiday fundraising campaign in October in an effort to #RescueChristmas, the nonprofit said this week.

“We are expecting more than 2,000 families in Monroe County to come to the Salvation Army for help to put food on their table and presents under the Christmas tree for their children,” said Salvation Army of Greater Rochester Director of Operation for Monroe County Debbie Burr. “This is a substantial increase from the 1,500 families we served last year during the Christmas season.”

At a time when requests for Salvation Army services are at an all-time high due to COVID-19, the funds raised through the organization’s iconic Red Kettles are at risk due to the economic impact of the pandemic.

In Rochester, the Salvation Army has seen a more than 50 percent increase in need since March, which includes helping families put food on the table, helping to pay for prescriptions and providing shelter for the homeless.

Since March, the Salvation Army has served more than 9,000 people and given out more than 5,000 boxes of food, for a total of more than 100,000 meals, officials said this week.

“Our four homeless shelters have also remained open during these turbulent times as the Salvation Army remains committed to continued care for the most vulnerable people in our community,” Burr said.

The Red Kettle campaign will kick off Thursday, Nov. 12 with the first bell ringers headed out on Friday. The goal is to raise $350,000 by Christmas Eve.

“We know this is going to be a challenging Christmas season as many people who would normally donate to the campaign may not be going out as much or might not be able to afford to donate this year,” Burr said. “We are going to adapt to the situation as best we can, and we need the community’s help so that we can provide hope to those who need it the most.”

This year there are more ways to donate including via text, online or digitally with Apple Pay or Google Pay.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
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