Salvation Army bell ringers aim to raise $1.5M in 4 hours

Salvation Army bell ringers set out to reach a big goal Friday of raising $1.5 million across the country in just four hours.

The Salvation Army Chicago Temple jumped to help this effort, setting up a red kettle outside Starbucks Reserve on the Mag Mile.

"I thought this is a good place downtown. Chicagoans love people, and we have the Christmas spirit, so I thought let's try," said Captain Denesia Polusca.

She explained the ambitious nationwide challenge sent up by the nonprofit's national commander to raise lots of money to help fund their services.

"His goal is $1.5 million, but I thought in our four hours I'll try for $6,000."


That's a lot of money in what feels like a long period of time with cold, constant rain chilling you to the bone. On Friday around lunchtime, most people hurried right by Polusca, but she stayed motivated.

"I can actually think of all the faces and all the emergency cases that we've helped this last year and know that the funds we raise help actual people who are in crisis. I think of the 834 names of kids I have at my center alone that are going to get toys this Christmas so that keeps me motivated," said Captain Polusca.

With awful weather and the hustle and bustle of the holidays, Salvation Army leaders know not everyone will hit a red kettle, so you can donate online as well.

"I am hopeful. It just takes a couple donations so maybe somebody seeing this will be motivated to give. If you see a kettle, just give. That would be great because it's going to bless so many people," said Polusca. 

For more information about how to help the Salvation Army of North and Central Illinois go to their website.