By JIM HAGGERTY
There’s a warm way to get rid of the cold feeling in this unseasonal, early arrival of cold weather this year i.e. donate to the M.E. Santa, sponsored by Middlesex East and its 10 communities enjoying its news coverage.
The M.E. Santa has had great support over the years and is in its 30th year of asking subscribers to reach out and put a donation in this extended Red Kettle over the holiday season.
The Salvation Army kicked off its Red Kettle donation season Friday, November 15th in Massachusetts and the Red Kettles are eye-catchers at area supermarkets, shopping malls, the MBTA’s transit lines, as well as many other locations to reach out to get the maximum support for those in need this holiday season.
The goal this year is to raise $3.8 million in the less than seven weeks leading up to Christmas.
The Salvation Army is also making it easy for donors to pay using their phones. This year, donors can also donate by using Apple or Google Pay. But, the warm feeling is to join the friends on a supporters list with a smile to congratulate all givers when conversing with them.
According to their website, the Salvation Army has been running the Red Kettle program in Massachusetts since 1897.
They report they raised more than $430 million nationwide in 2018.
The funds raised locally are spent locally, notes Michael Skoog, a Senior Field Representative, who makes several visits each year to visit the M.E. Santa organizers.
Based in Canton, Skoog “makes the rounds” and visits many who are constant and great donation communities over the holiday period. “You people have been great,” notes Skoog, who has built a strong relationship with the M.E. Santa and leadership with M.E. communities. “It is a successful grassroots program.”
The Salvation Army exists to meet human needs without discrimination in every ZIP code across the United States, the Salvation Army leadership points out. “When you give, your donation directly benefits folks in need throughout your local community.”
The slogan this year is a short, profound four words: “doing the most good.”
On a national level, Grammy Award-nominated and multi-platinum singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding will perform live at AT&T Stadium during the nationally televised halftime of the Dallas Cowboys game on CBS against the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving Day. The kickoff performance is a Cowboys tradition, sounding the call for Americans to donate to the iconic Red Kettle Campaign, which helps provide shelter and meals for the homeless and hungry, Christmas toys for children and social service programs to millions of people in need year-round.
During a recent visit to The Salvation Army’s New York Temple Corps Soup Kitchen, Goulding witnessed the impact of The Salvation Army’s services on people’s lives, funded by critical donations made during the Red Kettle Campaign and throughout the year.
“I am honored to perform at the Dallas Cowboys halftime show and kick off The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign.” Goulding said. “With so many people in need, I believe it’s our duty to help, and I encourage everyone to donate to The Salvation Army in any way they can. The money they raise during the Red Kettle Campaign will change lives for the better all year long.”
“Ellie Goulding’s infectious energy and generous spirit is a perfect match to kick off the campaign,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson, Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer for the Cowboys and former National Advisory Board Chairperson for The Salvation Army. “
The Red Kettle Campaign runs through Christmas Eve. It is the largest and longest-running fundraiser of its kind. It raised $142.7 million during the 2018 campaign.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow them on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.