U.S. donors made record-high donations million in 2009 to the annual Red Kettle Campaign of The Salvation Army, up 7 percent from 2008, the organization says.
In a campaign that kicked off on Thanksgiving Day to raise money in the face of an increase in demand for services of over 400 percent at some local Corps units, Red Kettles were set up in front of retail stories and in shopping malls in an estimated 25,000 locations in the U.S.
Donations to Red Kettles at Walmart and Sam's Club stories accounted for up to 29 percent of the total given, and the Walmart Foundation made a direct donation of $1.25 million.
Donations to Red Kettles at nearly 2,000 Kroger stores accounted for 8 percent of the total.
Target gave over $1.25 million in cash and in-kind donations to The Salvation Army, which also formed fundraising partnerships with JCPenney, The Weather Channel and Apple.
And for the fifth year, The Salvation Army let donors raise money though an Online Red Kettle system that generated over $1.9 million, twice the total raised in 2008.
Other online giving in November and December, including the use of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, raised $9.6 million, up 5.6 percent from 2008.
"By improving our digital outreach strategy, The Salvation Army is adapting to the changing ways in which people interact," Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army, says in a statement. "The Red Kettles have been a remarkable success for more than a century, and we are building on that for a new generation of donors."