The Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign began Wednesday with new safety measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The red kettle tradition has been around since 1891 and is back for another year of giving. This year, the Salvation Army said as the campaign spreads across the District, contactless giving using smartphones will help raise funds during the pandemic.
“We are in hopes of raising $1.1 million. It helps a significant amount of people,” said Mark Woodcock, an area commander major with the nonprofit.
This year has also led to a million dollars more in requests for assistance from the Salvation Army.
During the pandemic, the organization is making it easier for people to donate by using a smartphone, or dropping change in the red kettle, which will be attended by a kettle worker wearing a face mask while social distancing.
“We don’t ask our kettle workers to receive money in their hand. We want the honor to put it right into the kettle,” Woodcock added.
Over the last six months, the Salvation Army has sheltered 300 people a night in the District, and distributed over 10 tractor-trailers packed with food. They’ve also distributed $6.5 million in assistance when it comes to food and medication.
“We tell people, you put a little change in, we’re gonna make a lot of good change come back out,” Woodcock said.
He added that it’s all about common sense measures to help keep everyone safe. “Our thing this year is to rescue Christmas,” Woodcock said.
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