The first of The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles were brought out in DeKalb and neighboring areas on Nov. 9.
Bell ringers will collect donations at their red kettles outside Jewel-Osco, Hy-Vee, and Hobby Lobby stores, as well as Inboden’s Gourmet Meats & Specialty Foods in DeKalb and Ream’s Meat Market in Elburn. Red kettles will be placed outside Walmart stores beginning Nov. 21.
The Salvation Army’s annual fundraising campaign will look a little different this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Bell ringers will be required to follow strict guidelines to ensure the safety of donors and themselves.
Bell ringers will be required to wear a face mask at all times and maintain 6 feet of distance from donors who approach the kettle. All kettle equipment will be sanitized on a regular basis. Signs on the kettles will be equipped with Apple Pay and Google Pay technology, encouraging contactless donations with the tap of a smartphone.
The Red Kettles are a vital part of the Rescue Christmas campaign, which The Salvation Army launched in mid-September. The annual fundraiser began nearly two months earlier than in a typical year in order to meet an unprecedented need.
“With all of the challenges and uncertainties currently facing our community, The Salvation Army remains committed to serving families in need during the holidays and year-round,” Major Angie Hansen, corps officer for The Salvation Army DeKalb Corps Community Center, said in a news release.
The money raised also will fund year-round programming. Seventy percent of The Salvation Army’s donations for the entire year are made during the Christmas season. All gifts stay within the community in which they are given.
Partners that already have made donations to the Rescue Christmas campaign include Christ Community Church for $20,000, 3M for $2,500 and The Suter Company for $2,500.
Donations can be made at the red kettles or online at www.salarmychristmas.org.
If you need services or know of someone in need, visit www.salarmydekalb.org.