ARLINGTON, Texas –The Dallas Cowboys kicked off the 124th annual Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign when the Gene and Jerry Jones family made this season's first official kettle donation at halftime of Thursday's Thanksgiving Day game between the Cowboys and Eagles.
For the past 18 years, the Dallas Cowboys have helped The Salvation Army kick off the campaign, which has raised more than $1.8 billion in that time.
For the official campaign kickoff, Jerry Jones, owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, and wife Gene made their annual "kettle drop" – which is the inaugural donation to the Red Kettle Campaign – at the start of halftime. The Jones Family has made the kettle drop each year since 1997, when the Cowboys and The Salvation Army began their partnership.
The focus of this year's national Red Kettle Campaign is to encourage Americans to share their reasons for giving by using #RedKettleReason in social media posts. The Dallas Cowboys will share their #RedKettleReason before halftime on FOX to signify the official kickoff of the Red Kettle Campaign. Fans who share their #RedKettleReason may also be featured during halftime of the Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game.
See photos from the Thanksgiving day halftime show featuring Pitbull and NeYo.
Charlotte Jones Anderson, executive vice president and chief brand officer for the Dallas Cowboys, shared her #RedKettleReason. "I choose to support The Salvation Army because the Army is a great team of people who are fighting to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most," she said. "The Salvation Army is close to my heart, and my family has worked with the organization for decades. #RedKettleReason is a great way for people to recognize and talk about all the good the Army does to serve America's most vulnerable all year long." Anderson recently concluded a three-year term as chairman of The Salvation Army's National Advisory Board alongside fellow board members Gene and Jerry Jones.
Those who share their #RedKettleReason online through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube can see their posts on RedKettleReason.org. The site serves as a hub for #RedKettleReason conversations around the country and features an interactive mosaic of pictures, videos and information.
"It's been truly inspiring to see every #RedKettleReason shared from around the country. It proves that giving is a universal language," said Lieutenant Colonel Ron Busroe, national community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army. "We know that for many, the choice to donate is a sacrifice, and we're very happy to see why people choose to support the Army and those it serves. So far, we've seen posts from celebrities, Salvation Army officers and even the entire Cowboys team, and we hope to see many more posts using #RedKettleReason from everyone who supports The Salvation Army in any way this holiday season."
Red Kettle Kickoff is just the beginning of an exciting holiday season for The Salvation Army. In addition to #RedKettleReason, more than 25,000 Red Kettles are stationed at storefronts and street corners nationwide, and there are many other ways to get involved:
Rock the Red Kettle Concert: On Saturday, Dec. 6, some of music's rising young stars will take the stage at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles for the fifth annual free concert hosted by The Salvation Army and produced by Ned Specktor of Specktor Media. Headliners Becky G and Shawn Mendes will be joined by R5, Josh Levi, Bea Miller and Exist Elsewhere. A live stream of the concert will be available on RedKettleReason.org.
Walmart Fill the Truck Toy Drive: On select weekends, from Nov. 28 through Dec. 14, participating Walmart stores across the country will collect toys and coats for children.
Papa John's Red Kettle Cookie: From now until Dec. 28, Papa John's is offering a Red Kettle Cookie, a unique holiday twist to their popular treat, the Chocolate Chip Cookie. A portion of the proceeds from the cookie will be used to support The Salvation Army's funding. In addition, Papa John's will offer 25 percent off regular menu priced orders for everyone who donates to The Salvation Army through RedKettleReason.org and shares a reason of their own with their following. John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's will share his #RedKettleReason today, "Because The Salvation army works to make people's lives better."
Russell Stover Candy Tin:Now in stores at freestanding Russell Stover locations, $2 from the purchase of these commemorative candy tins featuring The Salvation Army logo will be donated to The Salvation Army.
Online Red Kettle:Throughout the season, Americans can become virtual bell ringers by starting their own Online Red Kettle at onlineredkettle.org.
Text-to-Give:For the mobile donor, it's easy to give $10 by texting the word "KETTLE" to 80888 and replying "YES."*
Angel Tree:To support an Angel in your town, contact your local Salvation Army by entering your zip code at salvationarmyusa.org
Volunteer:For more ways to volunteer and give back, visit salvationarmyusa.org to find a local corps.