JoCo Salvation Army needs $110,000 to reach donation goal by Christmas Eve — here’s how you can help

The Salvation Army in Johnson County is in the final days of its Red Kettle campaign and says it needs help making its donation goal for the pandemic-impacted 2020 season. Above, volunteers with the organization's Christmas assistance efforts last week. Photo courtesy The Salvation Army in Johnson County.

The Salvation Army in Johnson County is in the final days of its Red Kettle campaign and says it needs help making its donation goal for the pandemic-impacted 2020 season.

The organization is only about 50% of the way to its $220,000 goal. Red kettles are out until Christmas Eve on Thursday, the final day of the campaign.

In a typical year, The Salvation Army in Johnson County provides utility bill assistance, rent and mortgage assistance and food pantry services. It also operates a daycare and a family shelter. This year, the need exponentially increased while the organization focused on helping numerous families in crisis during the pandemic.

“The need has always existed in Johnson County,” Woodard said. “It may not be immediately noticeable, but there are families struggling with poverty, working part-time hours, and trying to provide for their children’s future.”

Fewer kettle sites are operating this year for the organization, which is based in Olathe. Plus, lower foot traffic at major retailers has also impacted The Salvation Army’s ability to raise money at the kettles. Meanwhile, The Salvation Army has faced a greater need through this year.

“During the summer, our food pantry was helping upwards of 400% more clients than at a similar time last year,” said Nate Woodard, the Olathe corps’ commanding officer. “Even though we’re located in Olathe, we serve all of Johnson County, which makes the support of all communities so critically important this year.”

Organization representatives noted that donations at the red kettles will go to help families next year, including those who may face a long recovery, even with the vaccines rolling out.

Here are the ways to donate:

  • Online at https://salarmy.us/OlatheRedKettle
  • In person at Price Chopper and Hy-Vee stores in Johnson County.
  • In person at major shopping destinations like Town Center Plaza.
  • In person at The Salvation Army Olathe building, 420 E. Santa Fe St.