‘KCS Holiday Express’ campaign launches to benefit The Salvation Army
By: Brad Rowland
Since 2001, the Kansas City Southern Railroad has deployed the “KCS Holiday Express” to communities across its United States rail network, drawing large crowds and supporting The Salvation Army through its charitable component. A year ago, the physical train did not make its rounds due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the KCS Holiday Express still raised more than $277,000 during the 2020 campaign.
Due to ongoing pandemic concerns, the 2021 initiative will follow a similar virtual structure for its fundraising, and KCS will celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Holiday Express to benefit The Salvation Army in 21 communities. This includes several cities in the USA Southern Territory:
- Arkansas – Ashdown, Mena
- Louisiana – Baton Rouge, DeQuincy, Gonzalez, Shreveport
- Mississippi – Jackson, Corinth, Meridian, Vicksburg
- Oklahoma – Poteau, Stilwell
- Texas – Houston, Laredo, Port Arthur, Victoria, Wylie
“KCS is pleased to celebrate 21 years of Holiday Express benefiting The Salvation Army in communities throughout our U.S. rail network,” said Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, president and CEO of KCS. “While it’s still not safe to gather for visits with Santa and tours through the holiday train, the true stars of the show are The Salvation Army and the work it does all year round.”
“In this pandemic, the fastest increasing area of need is for families who will be unable to pay their rent or mortgages and face eviction,” said Major Kelly Collins, divisional commander of The Salvation Army’s Kansas and Western Missouri Division. “The donations The Salvation Army will receive through the KCS Holiday Express will keep families in their homes and keep hope marching on for them into 2022.”
In the past 20 years, the charitable component of the KCS Holiday Express project has raised more than $2.3 million for The Salvation Army. The official launch video for the 2021 KCS Holiday Express can be viewed here.