I think we can all say that this year has indeed been like no other. And the same can be said for the non-profit organizations Mainstreet REALTORS® support, including the Salvation Army.
What does remain the same this year is our commitment to the organization and the communities they support through housing, curing hunger, empowering youth and helping disaster survivors just to name a few. And this year they need our support more than ever.
Ringing the Salvation Army’s iconic red kettles will of course look a little different than in past years. We will be social distancing, wearing masks and keeping the number to one or two members during any two hour shift and encouraging our members to sign up as a family.
In addition to bell ringing this year, we are launching a Mainstreet REALTORS® virtual kettle. Shareable content will be released shortly but in the short-term, you can visit Salarmychicago.org/mainstreet if you would like to make a contribution.
Last year we encouraged offices to sign up for a full day to ring bells and the winning office was given a pizza party. We had a number of offices compete with the winning office title going to Century21 Affiliated in Westchester. That office will totally be bringing their “A” game again this year…who is willing to step up to the challenge?
And to make the competition more intense…offices or individual groups such as Mainstreet committees can sign up for a team under Mainstreet to track your team’s virtual donations. We will still be offering that pizza party to the top office or group but it will happen once Covid is in our rear view mirror.
More than 1,000 kettles are out across Chicagoland through Christmas Eve at locations such as Jewel-Osco, Walmart, Hobby Lobby and Mariano’s. Mainstreet members and friends can sign up for an individual 2-hour time slot (or more) and offices can sign up for a full day (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) To sign up, contact Sara at 773.205.3574.
The Salvation Army raises nearly 70 percent of its yearly donations during the Christmas season, and the donations stay in the local community where it is raised. Last year, red kettle donations were used to:
• Serve more than 850,000 meals
• Provide shelter for nearly 6,000 men, women and children
• Pay nearly 90,000 rent/mortgage/utility/prescription bills
• Support more than 14,000 survivors of disasters as well as first responders
This marks the 130th year of the Army’s use of red kettles as a giving tradition across the country. The Red Kettle Campaign began in 1891 when Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee wanted to feed 1,000 people in San Francisco on Christmas Day. He remembered his days as a sailor in Liverpool, England, when passersby threw coins for the poor into an iron kettle on the dock. He placed a kettle at the foot of Market Street on Embarcadero with a sign reading “keep the pot boiling.” Within a decade, the idea was copied in New York and Boston. Today, the nationwide effort serves more than 6 million people.
To sign up, contact Sara at 773.205.3574 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.