Red Kettle Drive: Donations will be matched on Dec. 19

Red Kettle Drive: Donations will be matched on Dec. 19
Teri Stein

Lt. Andrew Allen plays Christmas songs on the cornet, which is wearing its own mask, while manning the kettle stand recently at Buehler’s in New Philadelphia.


In a world where everyone is encouraged to stay at home for the health of the community, the donations to the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle fundraising drive are down. The Red Kettle Campaign is the largest fundraiser of the year for the organization, and all donations stay local.

“Our kettle stands have been tremendously affected,” Lt. Andrew Allen of the Salvation Army of Dover/New Philadelphia said.

Though the organization still has the same number of kettle stands in the community, it is unable to find enough people to keep them open for as many hours as in years past. “It’s something we anticipated and is understandable. Our first priority is to the health and safety of the individuals and groups at the kettle stands. We are taking every precaution,” Allen said.

Kettles are wiped down throughout the day, those manning the stands wear masks and hand sanitizer is available.

“We’re fortunate to still have a good number of churches and civic groups to help out,” Allen said.

As of Dec. 6 the total amount of money raised to support the programs of the organization was $73,216, just over half of the goal of $140,000 for the year.

Allen also thinks the coin and cash shortages that have been seen during the pandemic are affecting donations as more shoppers use credit cards to pay to avoid exchanging cash, which is able to carry the virus if an infected person recently handled it.

“This year we are trying to push virtual donations,” Allen said.

A link to donate to the Virtual Red Kettle is available on both the organization’s Facebook page and online at

Allen is grateful to Wendy’s and Lee’s Chicken for their help with promoting a paper kettle program to bring in donations from their customers.

Dec. 19 is the day to remember if you would like to double your donation.

“On that date all donations of $20 or more will be matched at all kettle locations, whether physical or virtual,” Allen said.

Allen has several match donors participating, and up to $11,000 will be matched on Dec. 19. A portion of that match money, $5,000, is in memory of David Hawthorne; $5,000 will come from the Kimble family; and an additional $1,000 will come from an anonymous donor if enough donations are received.

To mark the occasion, Allen will play Christmas songs on his cornet all day at the kettle stand at Walmart in New Philadelphia. “I started playing the cornet in the third grade, so I’ve been playing for a while,” he said. “I always tell people it helps me pass the time. I enjoy it, and people tell me they enjoy it too.”

Learning to play the cornet also is one of the after-school enrichment activities the organization provides for a children’s k-5 music program in addition to chorus and drumming. The program includes dinner for the children. They also have a children’s archery program.

The Red Kettle Campaign is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Salvation Army, and all funds stay local to support their programs to help the community. The emergency food program is the program that saw an enormous increase in demand this year.

“Normally, we would distribute 250-270 boxes of food for the year. Since COVID, we have distributed more than 2,500 emergency food boxes,” Allen said, adding the program wasn’t utilized as much before due to the wonderful job of the other food pantries in the county.

Because of COVID, the organization has made the food distribution a drive-thru each week.

“It’s just jaw-dropping to see the need,” Allen said.

In general, Allen finds the Tuscarawas County community to be very generous. Many send donations through the mail designated to the Red Kettle Campaign.

“We are at a critical time, halfway through the campaign, but the community always steps up to the plate. We are hopeful and cautiously optimistic that we’ll reach our goal,” Allen said. “We hope people will support us in any way they can, whether through a donation or volunteering.”

The organization added a kettle stand at Giant Eagle this year, and Allen said the location is doing fairly well with the amount of donations received.

Another program the donations support is their soup kitchen, which operates Monday through Friday. With the pandemic this service also has switched to drive-thru.

The organization provides hot showers for those who are homeless or anyone having a water emergency at home. The showers are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and they have towels and hygiene items available as needed.

The Salvation Army also coordinates with local law enforcement and the Emergency Management Agency to provide emergency disaster services for such things as house fires, natural disasters, blackouts and more. They are always looking for volunteers to assist.

They also offer a utility-assistance program, which is mainly funded by the United Way.

Despite COVID-19, they were able to hold their summer day camp this year with changes to ensure safety.

For more information call the Salvation Army of Dover/New Philadelphia at 330-364-3811. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is located at 809 Emmet Ave. in New Philadelphia.

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