SAVANNAH, GA – Embargoed: 6:15 p.m. Nov. 14 – On Thursday, Nov. 14, The Salvation Army of Savannah kicked off its annual holiday season Red Kettle Campaign with a free celebratory event at 5 p.m. at the Georgia Railroad Museum.
The free community gathering featured a European-like Christmas market with artisan local vendors including Perc Coffee, Kendra Scott, Vineyard Vine, and The Salt Table, Christmas carolers provided by Savannah Stage Company, fun activities and entertainment for children, performances from Savannah Theatre stars, as well as delicious food and beverages. At 6 p.m., Salvation Army Major Paul Egan, Salvation Army elves, and representatives from Red Kettle Campaign partners, Dan Vaden Chevrolet Savannah and Vaden Cadillac Savannah, arrived at the Georgia Railroad Museum by train and on a brand new, red Silverado with the organization’s ceremonial Golden Kettle, marking the launch of this important campaign.
To further celebrate the start of Red Kettle season during this event, The Salvation Army attempted to set the record for the most bells rang at one time by a crowd of individuals in Savannah. Additionally, attendees enjoyed the lighting ceremony of the towering 126-foot-tall brick smokestack at 6:15 p.m. Bathed in Salvation Army’s festive red lighting, the stack will now remain lit throughout the campaign and will be visible throughout the city of Savannah.
“We are very excited to have launched our annual Red Kettle Campaign with this new initiative that provided a fun-filled free event for our community’s families,” said Major Egan. “We are very thankful to those that came out and celebrated with us, and we hope this drew attention to our important mission of providing for those most in need during the holiday season as we strive to raise funds and meet our ambitious 2019 fundraising goal of $250,000. ”
The public will once again have an opportunity to donate directly to the famous red kettles around the region during the holiday season and donations are also welcomed via the organization’s website at https://salvationarmygeorgia.org/savannah/ or by calling 912-651-7420. New for 2019, individuals can now donate to the red kettles at every location through Apple and Google Pay using their phone for a secure and easy payment option.
Sponsors for the 2019 Red Kettle Campaign include Dan Vaden Chevrolet Savannah, Vaden Cadillac Savannah, the Savannah Theatre, Coastal Heritage Society, SunTrust Bank, Panera Bread, South Magazine, and WJCL. Sponsors Panera Bread will launch a Round Up Campaign on Dec.1, allowing individuals to round up their order total at several of the restaurant’s local locations to donate to The Salvation Army.
The Red Kettle Campaign is the best way for the community to get involved with The Salvation Army’s mission. Without this support, The Salvation Army could not provide desperately needed food and lodging to people in need in our region year-round. Less than 1% of their funding comes from the government, so they are appealing to everybody to sign up as a volunteer, sponsor or donate to the annual fundraiser.
The Salvation Army is always in need of volunteers to ring the kettles at partner locations during the holiday season to ensure more funds are raised during this campaign to benefit their mission. A volunteer bell ringer raises more donations on average, but less than 10% of bell ringers are volunteers. Interested participants can also join the challenge “Champion of the Bells” where their group competes to see who can raise the most money ringing the bell.
One of the best ways to help during the Red Kettle Campaign is to sign up as an individual or group for a week of volunteering. Volunteer shifts are 8 hours a day with hours from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday – Saturday. There are approximately 70 opportunities for volunteer groups to take a week of kettle ringing.
Flexible volunteer opportunities are available for scheduling at www.redkettlevolunteer.org or contact Volunteer Coordinator Kayla Lentz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-704-6371. Individuals interested in signing their group up to ring the kettle for a week, please contact Kayla Lentz or Aaron Odum at email@example.com at 904-982-4751.
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. The Salvation Army in Savannah provides assistance to individuals and families by offering services in adult rehabilitation, basic needs, emergency disaster services, emergency financial assistance, housing and homeless services, hunger relief, and youth services.
For more information about The Salvation Army Savannah, please visit https://salvationarmygeorgia.org/savannah/ or call 912-651-7420.
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