The Salvation Army in Memphis encourages year-round giving with TV spots

As is true all over the country, most Memphis, Tennessee, residents know of The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign around the Christmas holidays and very little about what the Army does the rest of the year.

A new, different kind of campaign featuring families living at Memphis’ Purdue Center of Hope seeks to change that.

“We’re calling it the ‘Second Chance’ Campaign,” said Nina Harrelson, public relations specialist for The Salvation Army of Memphis & the Mid-South. “It’s part of a bigger effort to raise awareness about our Kettle365 program, which encourages Memphians to give every day of the year – not just at Christmas.”

Kettle365 was launched last year as the Memphis command’s year-round online giving platform. Now, Harrelson said, she and her team are hoping to bring more attention to the program with a pair of TV commercials that give potential donors an inside look at the people being helped by their gifts.

The spots were co-produced and directed by Harrelson, who came to The Salvation Army last December after nearly a decade in TV news. Harrelson worked with her team to develop a script and storyboard and hired several local freelance photojournalists to shoot the footage.

“They came in and knocked it all out in one day,” Harrelson said. “A lot of people don’t realize that we have dozens of families living at Purdue, so it was really important for us to use real residents for this commercial. Their lives are truly being changed, and they’re being given a second chance at life – all because of our generous donors.”

The commercials, which are being paid for out of the Memphis command’s marketing budget, will highlight several female residents and children, giving viewers an inside glimpse at what life looks like for them at Purdue.

Many of the women left abusive relationships, are working to overcome drug or alcohol addictions or just found themselves struggling to find jobs and housing and put food on the table.

“We are so grateful for the donations we get in our Red Kettles during the Christmas season, but we want our community to realize that these families are in need all year,” Harrelson said. “That’s exactly what we’re hoping this campaign achieves.”