Shorter Holiday Season Could Threaten Hope and Help for Those in Need

With six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, holiday donations may fall short

Published : Tuesday, December 24, 2019 | 1:03 AM

Compared to the last six years, 2019 has the fewest holiday shopping days. This could create an unexpected problem: a reduction in the amount of charitable giving by holiday shoppers, the Salvation Army said this week.

If realized, this deficit could hinder the country’s largest social service provider’s ability to provide critical services to people in need in 2020. The vast majority of giving to The Salvation Army’s iconic Red Kettles happens after Thanksgiving.

Nationally, The Salvation Army estimates nearly $12 million in donations could be lost if generous donors don’t fill the gap left by the shorter season. That’s equal to nearly 45,000 less nights of shelter for those experiencing homelessness.

“We have so much to be thankful for this holiday season, but there is tremendous need,” said Commissioner Kenneth Hodder of The Salvation Army. “Donations given during the holiday season are critical to providing hope not just during Christmas, but throughout the year. We are hopeful that compassionate donors will join us in serving our community’s most vulnerable.”

The funds raised during the Red Kettle Campaign allow The Salvation Army to provide toys for kids at Christmas, clothes for the homeless, food for the hungry, and countless other social service and after-school programs to those in need, year-round. In Southern California, The Salvation Army provided 1.7 million meals, more than 400,000 nights of shelter and over 250,000 toys in 2018.

The Kettle income in Southern California is down nearly 40 percent and in order to maintain our services to those in need in communities from San Luis Obispo to San Diego, The Salvation Army will need the public’s help. Donations are accepted at Salvation Army Red Kettles found on street corners and in front of stores through December 24. In addition to donating cash and coins, donors can now give through Apple Pay or Google Pay at participating red kettles. Online donations can be made at or by visiting The Salvation Army’s website

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter via @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.






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