The Salvation Army launched its annual #RedKettle Campaign on November 20, with a goal of raising $3.5 million this year to provide programming and services for hundreds of thousands of children, families and seniors across Massachusetts. This includes meals, toys and other holiday support for those in need, along with funding for food pantries, soup kitchens, social services, and education programs. The campaign will run until Christmas Eve.
Each year, as part of the annual campaign, The Salvation Army hosts celebrity bell ringers who compete with one another for bragging rights as “Celebrity Bellringer Champion.” They have been fortunate to already have support from Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Auditor Suzanne Bump, The WCVB news team, Boston25 news team, Wally the Green Monster, Slyde the Fox from the New England Revolution, and Blade from the Boston Bruins.
This week’s celebrity Bellringers include Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Treasurer Deb Goldberg, and Keytar Bear. House Speaker DeLeo will try to defend his title as the reigning Celebrity Bellringer Champion, having raised the highest amount in 2016.
As the Red Kettle campaign goes on, The Salvation Army was also hard at work hosting their 18th annual Christmas Castle event Monday, December 18 – Wednesday, December 20. During this time, more than 19,000 Boston area residents were assisted as families have the opportunity to “shop” for warm coats and toys and receive a voucher for a warm Christmas dinner. Although all of the items are free to the families, allowing parents to select coats and toys for their children is an important way the program provides necessary assistance, but also restores the dignity that poverty robs from those in need. The Christmas Castle also brings together nearly two dozen Boston area businesses and organizations and over 500 volunteers that help staff the event.
The Salvation Army Christmas Castle is one of the largest holiday distribution initiatives in the state of Massachusetts and provides toys, food vouchers, and winter coats to families in need across the City. Anton’s Cleaners CEO Arthur Anton, who oversees the company’s Coats for Kids program that distributes over 60,000 coats each year, will also be volunteering. The Presenting Sponsor for this year’s Christmas Castle is MFS Investment Management.