Salvation Army tells Chicagoans how to ‘rescue Christmas’

John Landecker

In this Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, photo, bell ringer Carolyn Harper points to two ways to donate via mobile device to the Salvation Army’s annual holiday red kettle campaign on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Cashless shoppers have a new option to give to the Army’s red kettle campaign this year using their smartphone. Leaders hope adding Apple and Google payment options will boost fundraising to the campaign, which makes up 10% of The Salvation Army’s annual budget. Those donations fund programs providing housing, food and other support to people in poverty. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Jackie Rachev, Director of Communications for The Salvation Army’s Metropolitan Division, chats with John Landecker about why they are doing Christmas campaigning early this year. The request for help is up about 500 percent for the organization this year. Rachev says many first time visitors are coming to the Salvation Army for food, financial assistance or school supplies because they need help due to COVID-19. “Jaw dropping is the perfect word for it.” The red kettles have already made an appearance across 18 blocks on Michigan Avenue from Water Tower to Millennium Park. They are not ringing in snow just yet, but rather a call to action to “rescue Christmas for Chicago.” To donate, visit online or at a contactless red kettle station where donations can be accepted via smart phone.

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