CLEVELAND – The Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland has officially closed the books on its 2021 red kettle campaign. The organization received $362,000 in the iconic red kettles reaching only 56% of their overall $650,000 goal. These funds will be used year-round to provide hot meals, after-school learning programs, food pantry items, utility assistance, and other needs at each of their five Corps Community Centers throughout the county.
“Direct mail and internet donations seem to be doing ok, but the loss of kettle donations is tough. We continue to invite everyone who can help to make a donation. We extend a big thank you to our Greater Cleveland community for its continued support of our work and mission each holiday season. Every dollar donated provides hope and faith to others facing hardships.,” stated Major Thomas Applin, Divisional Secretary of Greater Cleveland Area Services.
A critical piece missing from this year’s red kettle campaign was the availability of bell ringers. This year, The Salvation Army in Greater Cleveland saw a decrease in available bellringers.
“Last year, we had a strong response from the community to work and volunteer at the kettles. In 2021, with the surging of the new variants, people were more apprehensive about ringing the bell. Giving at the kettles that we had out was still very strong, but we only had 1/3 of the kettles out due to staffing issues,” continued Applin.
Leading up to Christmas, The Salvation Army in Greater Cleveland provides toys and food to families in need through their Christmas assistance program. This year, 4,308 children were provided with toys for Christmas, and 1,802 families were given food to enjoy a Christmas meal from The Salvation Army’s Christmas Assistance program. Over 10,000 toys were collected from over 60 Local and National Corporate Partners to hand out to kids this holiday season.
“Our Christmas Assistance Program is one of our most rewarding programs. We never want to see a child go without a toy to unwrap at Christmas or a family without a holiday meal. We are grateful for the support of all our corporate partners and individuals who provided thousands of donated toys. Each is a valuable piece to ensure that no one gets forgotten at Christmas,” stated Applin.
The Salvation Army in Greater Cleveland also provides safe shelter for area men, women, and families. In November and December, The Salvation Army provided 23,629 nights of shelter for individuals.