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The Salvation Army in Oregon Sets Out to “Rescue Christmas” Due to Immense Impact of COVID-19

Across the nation, the largest social-services organization launches online holiday fundraising
campaign before red kettles reach stores in November to meet increasing need

Portland, OR (October 13, 2020) – For the first time in 130 years, The Salvation Army is starting its annual holiday fundraising campaign early across the country and in Oregon in order to rescue Christmas. The funds raised through the organization’s iconic red kettles are at risk this year due to COVID-19. Requests for services are at an all-time high and the need will be greater than ever this holiday season.

“Christmas this year will be unlike any Christmas in the history of The Salvation Army. We have seen so much need in our community because of COVID-19. Then most recently the need has increased as a result of the wildfires across the state of Oregon,” said Major Bob Lloyd, The Salvation Army Portland Metro Coordinator. “The needs across Oregon have continued to grow this year beyond our imagination”.

Based on the increase in services already provided in response to the pandemic, the organization expects to serve up to 155 percent more people in 2020 with Christmas assistance, including putting food on the table, paying bills, providing shelter and helping place gifts under the tree – assuming the resources are available. Across the Portland Metro area, The Salvation Army served 7,072 people during the holiday season last year and expect that number to greatly increase this year due to the hardships surrounding COVID-19.

At the same time, due to the closing of retail stores, consumers carrying less cash and coins, and the decline in foot traffic, The Salvation Army could see up to a 50 percent decrease in funds raised nationally through the red kettles, which would limit their capability to provide services for the most vulnerable. To put this in perspective, last year $126 million was raised nationally through about 30,000 red kettles. More than $600,000 of that was brought in through fundraising efforts in Oregon. While digital fundraising for Christmas has started earlier than ever, most bell ringers won’t be out collecting money at the iconic red kettles until November. This is where the bulk of fundraising happens.

“People are still in need regardless of what is going on around us and we at The Salvation Army are working to meet that need and are extremely grateful to the people in our communities who continue to help us,” said Lloyd.

Since March, in response to COVID-19, The Salvation Army across Oregon has provided 140,437 meals, 98,338 snacks, 43,078 food boxes, and emotional and spiritual support to 37,841 people in need. 

Recently, in response to the Oregon wildfires, The Salvation Army is providing meals and resources to evacuee and first responders: 32,138 meals, 45,472 snacks, 24,220 home-delivered meals, 4,378 food boxes, and emotional and spiritual care support for 3,101 people in need. 

Now more than ever, the nonprofit is making it safer and simpler to donate in order to support the most vulnerable in Oregon:

  • Give online at
  • To help ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors and partners, The Salvation Army has adopted nationally mandated safety protocols. Red Kettles and bell ringers will be out at stores starting in November.
  • Donate digitally with Apple Pay or Google Pay at any red kettle in Oregon.
  • Ask Amazon Alexa to donate by saying, “Alexa, donate to The Salvation Army,” then specifying the amount.
  • Adopt additional Angels to give hope and joy to kids and families in need through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.

Every donation provides help and hope to those in need, and all gifts stay within the community in which they are given. Visit to donate or learn more about how you can help The Salvation Army rescue Christmas this year. If you need services or know of someone in need, please visit


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About the Red Kettle Campaign
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 and solicit spare change donations to the iconic red kettles from holiday shoppers.  Last year, money raised helped The Salvation Army provide food, clothing, toys and other assistance to 30 million Americans in need. Give now at 


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