The signature Red Kettles are already on display at stores throughout Missoula to raise important funds for the Missoula Salvation Army.

KGVO spoke with Captain Ryan Boyd, Corps Officer of the Missoula Salvation Army recently, who shared the mission of the iconic Red Kettles.

“During the holidays, we partner with Toys for Tots and provide Christmas gifts for children 12 and under annually,” said Captain Boyd. “We serve about 1,000 kids who are local to Missoula County. We also have rental assistance, and we provide bus tickets for people who are currently experiencing homelessness but have somewhere that they can go to live and have a safe place to be.”

Boyd said the Salvation Army serves the poor and needy in the Missoula area 24-7, 365 days of the year.

“We have our Hygiene Center (located on North Russell) which serves between 30 and 50 people a day with sack lunches, with laundry services, with a shower, warm clothing, and other things like that,” she said. “That's the primary thing that we do, but we do that all year round, not just at the holidays.”

Although the Red Kettles are the most visible fundraising tools that the public sees, Captain Boyd said the bulk of the funds raising goes on throughout the year.

“It’s mostly raised through local donations,” she said. The Red Kettles are about 12 percent of our annual income. So they're a really big part of our history, but they're also really big part of our annual budget, and they provide between 12 and 15 percent of our annual budget directly from the Red Kettles but the rest is raised locally through our donor support.”

Boyd said the goal for this year’s Salvation Army Red Kettles is an ambitious one.

“Our annual Red Kettle goal this year is $78,000,” she said. “We are at 16 stores throughout Missoula, and we're there Monday through Saturday from 10: 00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and so people can donate there. “We have an online Red Kettle if people don't have cash on them. They can donate online to our Red Kettle. It's on our Facebook page.”

On Saturday, December 4, Captain Boyd said a generous benefactor is making a special challenge to all Missoula shoppers.

On Saturday, December 4th, every $20 bill or every $20 online donation is going to be matched by a donor,” she said. “So if you put a $20 bill or a $20 check on December 4th,  or you donate online $20 to our online Red Kettle, then up to $5,000 will be matched for it. So each $20 bill will actually be worth $40.”

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