The Salvation Army received more than $126,000 from Western & Southern Financial Group’s charitable foundation thanks to record-breaking donations during its annual holiday display outside Krohn Conservatory.
The check for $126,414.58 includes $63,207.29 from visitor donations during the 2023 holiday season at the Crib of the Nativity display in Eden Park. The rest of the funding is the result of an equal match from Western & Southern Financial Fund.
This year’s donation tops the 2022 record donation of $112,566.94, making it the largest in the more than 30 years in which donations collected at the nativity display have been matched by W&S’s foundation.
The 2023 total is 12% greater than last year and the result of the generosity from a record 66,600 visitors to the display.
Linda Lopez – the Salvation Army’s director of operations for Greater Cincinnati – extended her “deep gratitude” to W&S for their donation to. She described the ongoing support as a “beacon of hope throughout the years,” enabling the organization to “make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need in our community.”
“The company’s commitment to the Greater Cincinnati region exemplifies the spirit of giving and compassion,” Lopez continued. “We are immensely thankful for their partnership in our mission.”
Decades of holiday giving
W&S started the Crib of the Nativity in 1939. First presented at Lytle Park, it moved to Union Terminal during World War II, then eventually moved to Eden Park. Over the years it became a popular attraction at Christmastime, as visitors of all ages enjoyed the realistic nativity scene with live animals.
In 1993, Western & Southern Financial Group’s foundation began matching the monetary gifts made by those visiting the display. Since then, donations and the match have resulted in nearly $905,000 for the Salvation Army.
Every year, the Salvation Army helps more than 23 million people overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services. Services include emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse. and clothing and shelter for people in need.
Greater Cincinnati is the home of one of the Salvation Army’s 7,600 operations center around the country.
Gifts like those from W&S provide vital support to the nonprofit community. Donations of $50 can provide things like meals for as many 20 people, per the Salvation Army.
“The Crib of the Nativity display is a cherished, time-honored Cincinnati tradition,” said John F. Barrett, chairman, W&S’s president and CEO. “The generosity of Cincinnatians, who give wholeheartedly to help their neighbors, is truly heartwarming. It is our privilege to stand with them in support of The Salvation Army’s efforts to assist those in need.”