In addition, Walmart and Sam’s Club stores will host The Salvation Army’s iconic red kettles and bell ringers this holiday season from Friday, November 23 to Monday, December 24, to collect much-needed funds to support The Army’s social service at Christmas and year-round. Last year in the Greater Augusta Area, Walmart and Sam’s Club stores helped The Salvation Army raise over $210,000 locally, and more than $46 million nationally—nearly one-third of the record $147.6 million raised. All donations made to the red kettles will remain in the Greater Augusta Area, and help The Salvation Army provide food, clothing, shelter, financial assistance and other services to thousands of people each year.
The “Fill the Truck” event will begin at 9:00 a.m. and run until 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 8, and is open to the general public who would like to donate new toys and coats to children who take part in The Salvation Army programs year-round. Upon arrival, shoppers will receive a list of suggested gifts to help fill the truck at the store. Trucks have been provided by Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.
This year, the Walmart Foundation also made a $1 million donation to The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign. The donation will be split among the four Salvation Army Territories and support feeding programs, including meal programs for youths. Last year, The Salvation Army Augusta Area Command served 115,757 meals to local children and adults in need.
Notably, 81 percent of Salvation Army programs saw an increase in need from families with children due to the recession in 2011, according to “Growing up in a Downturn,” a Salvation Army report from earlier this year. The report also found that 56 percent of Salvation Army youth programs were operating at or beyond capacity, which includes feeding, education, athletic, artistic and religious programs. As a result of the recession’s lingering impact, The Salvation Army expects the need to continue with this Christmas season.
“The Salvation Army is excited to partner with Walmart. Each year, Walmart is there to help us meet demands and make Christmas brighter for families and individuals who may not otherwise have a Christmas to celebrate,” said Captain Tony Perez.
From its humble origin as a fundraiser started by a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States. As part of the campaign, more than 25,000 Salvation Army workers and volunteers spread throughout the country to ring bells daily and solicit spare change donations to the iconic red kettles from holiday shoppers. In 2011, the campaign raised more than $147.6 million nationwide, a new record supported by the public’s nickels, dimes, quarters, dollars, and credit cards (and the occasional diamond ring or gold tooth) all collected and used to help people in the communities where they were raised. Last year, the funds helped The Salvation Army provide food, clothing, toys and other assistance to 30 million Americans in need.
For more information on The Salvation Army, please visit our website, www.SalvationArmyAugusta.org.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support initiatives that are helping people live better around the globe. In May 2010, Walmart and its Foundation made a historic pledge of $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger in the U.S. The Walmart Foundation also supports education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness initiatives. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.