CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles are an iconic symbol of the holiday season. Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, you won’t be seeing as many of those kettles in front of stores this year.
Captain Mike Michels, Corps Officer for the Salvation Army, says red kettles are the organization’s biggest fundraiser. The money they raise helps to fund projects like their Angel Tree initiative.
“The need is even greater than ever in this pandemic,” he says.
Every dollar that the organization raises this year will be needed; especially becaue they’ve seen a stark increase in the number of Angel Tree children.
“Normally we see about 2,000 children we distribute toys to at Christmastime, we’re looking at about 3,000 children at this point,” says Michels.
Plus, the pandemic is limiting the places that bell ringers can set up their red kettles. Michels says not all of their national partners are letting them ring in person.
That said, Salvation Army officials came up with an idea: Virtual Red Kettles.
“So, if you want to do kettles for us but you don’t wanna stand out in the cold, you can actually set your kettle up, put it out on your Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat,” he says.
The virtual kettles will allow donors to choose how much they’d like to donate and whose team they would like their donation to count towards.
At this time, the Salvation Army is still offering in-person bell ringing. You can find out more information on how to sign-up and the permitted locations by clicking here.
There are still hundreds of children that have not been chosen off the Salvation Army of the Charleston’s Angel Tree. For more information on adoption, click here.