Springfield Salvation Army’s Kettle Wars raises over $153K

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

The Springfield Salvation Army’s online Kettle Wars competition raised $153,231 with the help of many children, adults, businesses and schools.

“This online campaign became essential for the people that still wanted to give to the cause, the mission and our work here in the community, but didn’t necessarily want to be around a kettle or have cash on them,” Ryan Ray, the development director of the Springfield Salvation Army said. “This made up some ground that we lost from our physical red kettles.”

Last year, 10 local businesses and organizations competed in Kettle Wars by designing their own unique kettles and displaying them during Holiday in the City in downtown Springfield. For two hours, the businesses and organizations rang a bell to attract people to vote for their displays by donating money. The competition raised over $3,000 for the Springfield Salvation Army, Ray said.

Due to the pandemic, Holiday in the City was canceled in early August.

To continue the tradition, Kettle Wars transitioned to an online competition where children, adults, businesses and schools created an online kettle and “challenged” others to see who could raise the most money, Ray explained.

The competition was open from Nov. 2 through Dec. 22. The time frame contributed to the increase in donations this year.

There were three “arenas to battle in,” Ray said.

Kyler and Karlee Chapman won the children 17 and younger arena by raising $1,250. The siblings made online videos to bring awareness to the competition. The runner up in that arena was Everett Irwin, who raised $1,180.

Paul Buckles, a Springfield Salvation Army advisory board member, won the adult category by raising $4,293.

The New Carlisle Rotary won the business category by raising $6,915.

Ray said there were two schools that competed in the competition. The Northwestern FFA won the school category by raising $1,077 and will receive the traveling Star Wars themed trophy.

Over 100 online kettles were created, Ray said.

The money raised from Kettle Wars will go to several of the Springfield Salvation Army’s programs including at-risk youth and utility, rent, mortgage and food assistance.

The competition created community engagement to “rally the community together and take care of those who have fallen through the cracks,” Ray said.

“I’m just overwhelmed at what we did together. Thank you for believing in us, the mission and the cause. This community is very unique. It is full of love and compassion and people will go to great lengths to care for one another,” Ray said.

This was the second year for the Kettle Wars competition.

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