An anonymous donor has pledged to match donations — up to $500,000 between now and Christmas — to the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign in the Kansas City area.
That’s a huge gift for the campaign, which is lagging behind in donations compared with this point last year.
“We don’t get a lot of gifts of that size,” said Major Evie Diaz, division commander of the Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri. “We depend mostly on small gifts at our kettles. This size of a match is unusual, and of course we’re very excited.”
Local kettle donations, which last year totaled about $1.4 million, are a major part of the Salvation Army’s overall Christmas campaign, which it relies on for the whole year. The goal this year for the local division is $10 million.
That money goes toward a children’s shelter, food services, housing, case management and emergency assistance.
The matching pledge applies to donations to about 250 red kettles in Johnson, Wyandotte, Platte, Clay, Jackson and Cass counties.
Diaz said the main reason that donations are down is the rainy weather on the days after Thanksgiving.
The pledge donor does not want attention drawn to himself.
“It’s someone we know who has been a good supporter of ours,” Diaz said. “He wants to encourage Kansas City. It’s a call to action for other people to help him with his gift.”