Salvation Army of Savannah extends virtual Red Kettle Campaign through January

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — For those in the spirit of giving, organizers of the Salvation Army of Savannah’s Red Kettle Campaign say they’re still accepting online donations.

The traditional campaign featuring the signature red containers ran for six weeks over the holidays. During that time, people also had the option to give virtually in light of the pandemic.

“This has been an unusual year, so for some of that, it’s meant a lot of difficulty. But in some ways, we found ways to do what we do even better,” said the Salvation Army of Savannah’s major, Paul Egan.

“One of those opportunities was to take our kettles online to do them virtually,” Egan told WSAV NOW.

The physical Red Kettle Campaign ended on Dec. 24, and online donations will continue to be accepted until Jan. 31. 

Egan says this year, the Salvation Army placed 26 kettles around Savannah — fewer containers than the amount they’ve made available in the past.

“That’s because of not having the ability to get many volunteers and folks out to ring the bells for us,” he said.

The initial plan was to wrap up the virtual kettle campaign at the end of last month, but volunteers reached out to the Salvation Army saying that they knew people who still wanted to give.

The funds raised go toward feeding the community, keeping people housed in the Salvation Army’s shelters and providing virtual learning space for children while their parents work, according to Egan.

Money raised also helps those needing emergency assistance, as well as people seeking spiritual or emotional care and support.

“The Salvation Army is finding new and different ways to meet people’s needs, so we’re having to do the same with seeking ways for folks to give and support this effort,” Egan said.

Special events coordinator Samantha Greder says the economic fallout from the pandemic has led to a rise in the number of people staying in the Salvation Army’s shelters.

“We’re seeing an increase for those needs that we haven’t before,” Greder said.

She noted that the recent decrease in volunteers has made the annual campaign more challenging.

That’s where virtual giving has made all the difference this season.

 “We’ve also seen [volunteers] step up virtually, where individuals can create their own online kettle and encourage their friends, family and their network to give,” Greder said.

Campaign organizers say donations can be made either by texting “RedKettleSAV” to 76278 or by visiting their website, which can be reached by clicking this link.

Supporters are able to set up their own virtual Red Kettles to encourage people in their communities to donate.

“The Salvation Army is truly here to give individuals a second chance and give them a more stable future,” Greder said.

“We’re looking for more of a permanent solution rather than a temporary one, and these could be people in your backyard or your neighbors that are struggling day to day just to afford to put a meal on the table for their kids,” she said, adding, “that’s what we’re helping with.”

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