Across Indiana, The Salvation Army is heading into the last week of its annual Christmas Campaign, which will fund Salvation Army programs and services across the state in 2018. The “Fight for Good” campaign, which started in mid-November, runs through the end of the year, though today marks the last day the iconic Salvation Army Red Kettles will be out at most locations.

If you haven’t made a gift yet this holiday season, you can still help The Salvation Army by making your donation at a kettle location, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or click here to donate online through our easy-to-use and secure donation form. Mobile phone users can also text the word HOOSIER to 41444 anytime to receive a link to our online donation form.

At the invitation of the Indiana Pacers, tonight representatives of The Salvation Army’s Ruth Lilly Women and Children’s Center will set up red kettles at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse and ring before the Pacers v. Nets game. All donations made during this special night will help fund programs at our homeless shelter in downtown Indianapolis, which gave safe shelter to more than 1,600 women and children last year.

“With all of the resources used to support disaster relief efforts in 2017, this year’s Christmas campaign is more important than ever,” says Major Bob Webster, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army Indiana Division. Money raised during the annual Christmas Campaign funds many programs that benefit families and individuals in communities across Indiana, including:

•Youth activities like after school programs, ballet classes, basketball leagues, archery teams, character building clubs, and music lessons
•Emergency food, rent, and utility assistance
•Addiction treatment services for adults at the Indianapolis Harbor Light Center
•Safe shelter and assistance to homeless families at the Ruth Lilly Women & Children’s Center
•Summer day camp at local Salvation Army corps community centers and sleep-away camp in southern Indiana for children across the state
•Ministries to older adults through housing, shut-in visitation, and financial assistance
•Holiday assistance that provides toys at Christmas and food baskets at Thanksgiving

Plenty of special bell ringing events made this red kettle season especially memorable, from the state-wide Kroger Corporate Bell Ringing Challenge on December 20 to a 24-hour bell ringing competition at a Walmart in Madison, Indiana between local Salvation Army officers Lt. Brenna Lee and Lt. Vinal Lee that raised almost $3,000. Volunteers brought fun and entertainment to the kettle, too, with musical acts, “guns & hoses” competitions between local police and fire departments, and costumed bell ringers dressed as everything from Santa’s elves to Star Wars storm troopers.

The Christmas Campaign goal in central Indiana is $3.5 million. “The support we’ve seen from this community has been tremendous,” says Major Webster. “We hope that during this last week we’ll see that generosity continue. Right now, we’re at 52% of goal. This is the time to make those end-of-year gifts, so we have great hope that these donations will come in and we’ll be able to fund all our central Indiana programs in 2018.”

Last year, through the generosity of Hoosiers, The Salvation Army of Central Indiana was able to provide more than 128,000 safe nights of shelter and 304,000 meals for those in need in our community. With your help, we will again be able to serve our neighbors in need in 2018. Please stop by a red kettle today or click here to give back today!