The Salvation Army and SpartanNash aim to raise $1.3 million locally through the annual Red Kettle Christmas giving campaign.
The first bells for the organizations’ Red Kettle campaign will ring at noon Friday at the Fulton Heights Community Center, at 1235 E. Fulton St., as The Salvation Army kicks off this year’s goal of raising $1.3 million for Christmas and year-round programming in Kent County.
A short ceremony will be held, led by local bagpiper Tom Bradley; Glen Caddy, The Salvation Army divisional commander; Joe Jones, Grand Rapids second ward city commissioner; and Dawn Bredeweg, SpartanNash community engagement specialist, in which they will simultaneously ring the first bells of the season to begin the campaign. Local musicians Avalon Cutts-Jones and Tyreece Guyton will join the bell-ringing festivities, performing several musical selections.
With more people facing hardship this year due to the pandemic, the need is greater than ever, The Salvation Army said.
“Over the years, our partnership with SpartanNash has allowed The Salvation Army to make a difference in the lives of countless families and individuals,” Caddy said. “This year, more than any other, your help will be needed. Economic challenges have made fundraising more difficult. At the same time, we are helping more people, some of them for the first time in their lives. We know that the people of Kent County and West Michigan are caring and generous, and we thank you in advance for your support.”
For over 20 years, bell ringers have been welcomed at all 87 SpartanNash-owned Family Fare, D&W Fresh Market, Forest Hills Foods, ValuLand and VG’s locations throughout Michigan.
“SpartanNash is proud to be a corporate partner and a longtime participant in The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign,” said Meredith Gremel, SpartanNash vice president, corporate affairs and communications, and executive director of the SpartanNash Foundation. “The bell ringers offer a positive reminder of the power of human compassion during the holiday season. … SpartanNash is proud to partner with The Salvation Army throughout the year to raise the necessary funds to help those who are less fortunate in our communities.”
The Salvation Army has adopted nationally mandated safety protocols for physical kettles to ensure the safety of bell ringers, donors and partners. Bell ringers at every Kent County establishment are instructed to follow CDC, state and local guidelines for social distancing and mask-wearing.
The Salvation Army accepts electronic donations at kettle sites through Kettle Pay, making it safer and easier to contribute. When a donor “bumps” their phone to the NFC tag, they will automatically be taken to a custom donation page where they will be able to donate via Google Pay or Apple Pay, depending on the type of device they use.
Additionally, through the contactless Virtual Red Kettle, donors can set up their own personal red kettle online and raise funds from their peers.
Other contactless opportunities are available year-round to support the work of The Salvation Army in a variety of ways, including:
- Online at sakentcounty.org
- By phone at (616) 459-3433 or 1 (800) SAL-ARMY
- Snail mail to The Salvation Army, at 1215 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, MI 49503