Salvation Army expects 50% drop in holiday 'Red Kettle' cash donations due to COVID-19

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Salvation Army announced on Black Friday that they are in great need of donations due to the pandemic, as their famous "Red Kettle" campaign faces a substantial drop in contributions.

The philanthropy group's national commander, Kenneth Hodder, estimates the donation campaign will bring in about 50% less money than last year.

"In the midst of a tsunami of need, we may have a drought of resources," Hodder told ABC on Friday, "not because people don't want to support us, but because they themselves are going through a difficult time."

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Organization leaders say holiday shoppers will still hear the ringing bells as they pick up gifts, but the sound may be at fewer locations than in holidays past.

Factors affecting the reduced "Red Kettle" cash donation haul include fewer retail locations for setup, less foot traffic passing by the kettles, and so many people out of work and not able to contribute as they would normally.

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Going into the purple tier in the Bay Area was a disappointment to retailers hoping to lure in holiday shoppers at their busiest time of year.



Last year, officials say the kettle campaign raised about $126 million across the country.

The Salvation Army is offering contactless donation options for their campaign in 2020.

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There will be a QR code on the red kettles for good Samaritans to donate electronically via smartphone, and they can also donate to the organization through Amazon Alexa.

People seeking donation sites and available services in their zip code will be able to find them here.

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