The Salvation Army Launches Annual Tree of Lights Campaign with a Tree Lighting Celebration at Kiener Plaza

Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 5:05 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2023 at 6:36 PM CST
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(St. Louis, MO – November 8, 2023) – The Salvation Army announces the commencement of its much-anticipated Tree of Lights campaign, a cherished tradition and vital fundraiser for the season of giving. The grand tree lighting ceremony is set to illuminate Kiener Plaza in the heart of downtown St. Louis on Saturday, November 18, from 4:30 p.m. onwards.

This year’s campaign is led by the charismatic co-chairs, Ozzie Smith, and Yolonda Lankford, who are ready to spread cheer and kindle the spirit of generosity in the community. Their shared commitment to service shines as bright as the lights that will adorn the tree.

Attendees of the tree lighting ceremony will enjoy the festive sounds of The Salvation Army band, which promises to fill the air with joyous music synonymous with the holiday season. The event promises to be a memorable evening for families and individuals alike, featuring delightful hot chocolate to warm hands and hearts against the November chill.

The Tree of Lights campaign is not just a symbol of holiday cheer but a beacon of hope for many. This year, the campaign goal is $7.2 million, which will be used to aid individuals and families in need within our community. Every dollar raised goes towards supporting The Salvation Army’s programs and services, such as addiction recovery, homelessness, food insecurity, and other critical needs.

“The Tree of Lights is a symbol of hope and giving,” says Ozzie Smith. “Every contribution, big or small, kindles brighter possibilities for our neighbors who face tough times. We are united in this cause, and we believe the spirit of St. Louis is stronger than ever this season.”

The Salvation Army invites the entire community to come together to celebrate the launch of this year’s campaign. It’s not just an event; it’s the start of a movement to bring joy, provide comfort, and strengthen community ties.

“We invite all members of the public to join us at The Salvation Army’s tree lighting event which symbolizes the beginning of our Tree of Lights campaign. This Christmas, we anticipate helping even more people than ever before, with food, shelter, and financial assistance for those in hardship. The Tree of Lights is all about shining hope on our community and we invite everyone to join us.” said Major Adam Moore, Area Commander for The Salvation Army.

Be a part of this wondrous evening and help light up lives by joining the ceremony at Kiener Plaza.

For more information on the tree lighting event visit


About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps nearly 30 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. Founded in London, England in 1865, The Salvation Army has been active in the Greater St. Louis area since 1880.

The Salvation Army Midland Division provides a wide range of services for those in need in our community including corps community centers, Emergency Disaster Services, Emergency Social Services, Pathway of Hope, Veterans Residence, Midtown Treatment Center, transitional housing programs and emergency shelter accommodation.

For more information, visit

Interviews available upon request, contact


The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.