The red kettle is the gateway to giving for people of all ages. When you put money in a Salvation Army red kettle, you help meet needs right in your community.
Change goes in and change comes out. By donating, you help change a hungry stomach to a full one. You help change sleeping outside to sleeping with a roof over a person’s head. You help change the direction of a child’s life through good role models and structured activities.
When you see a red kettle between Thanksgiving and Christmas, please dig deep and know you are making a difference.
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Be a Bell Ringer
Volunteer groups are needed to staff red kettle sites for a minimum of a full day. This is a great opportunity for corporate teams, church groups, and clubs to help raise important funds by staffing a kettle site. Breaking the day into shifts makes the volunteer service easy. Having multiple people serving on each shift makes it fun. Sign up now!
You can also DONATE HERE!
Sponsor a Bell Ringer
You can help give unemployed men and women an opportunity to work during the holidays by sponsoring them as Salvation Army bell ringers. This will help guarantee we cover our best red kettle locations at times when volunteers are not available and still raise more money than it costs.
We encourage you to sponsor a red kettle worker’s wages, whether for a day, a week, or for the entire holiday season.
It takes about $80 to cover a bell ringer’s wages for a day. To sponsor a bell ringer’s job for a week, we request a donation of $480. A donation of $2,080 will cover having a bell ringer at a site for the entire holiday season.
If you or your company would like to sponsor the wages for red kettle workers, please contact Justin Eatherly at 214-637-8214.
History of the Red Kettle
In 1891, Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee was distraught because so many poor individuals in San Francisco were going hungry. During the holiday season, he resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner for the destitute and poverty-stricken. He only had one major hurdle to overcome – funding the project.
Where would the money come from, he wondered. As he went about his daily tasks, the question stayed in his mind: How he could find the funds to fulfill his commitment of feeding 1,000 of the city’s poorest individuals on Christmas Day.
As he pondered the issue, his thoughts drifted back to his sailor days in Liverpool, England. He remembered how at Stage Landing, where the boats came in, there was a large, iron kettle called "Simpson's Pot" into which passersby tossed a coin or two to help the poor.
The next day Captain McFee placed a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing at the foot of Market Street. Beside the pot, he placed a sign that read, “Keep the Pot Boiling.” He soon had the money to see that the needy people were properly fed at Christmas.
Six years later, the kettle idea spread from the west coast to the Boston area. That year, the combined effort nationwide resulted in 150,000 Christmas dinners for the needy. In 1901, kettle contributions in New York City provided funds for the first mammoth sit-down dinner in Madison Square Garden, a custom that continued for many years. Today in the U.S., The Salvation Army assists millions of people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas time periods.
Captain McFee’s kettle idea launched a tradition that has spread not only throughout the United States, but all across the world. Kettles are now used in such distant lands as Korea, Japan, Chile and many European countries. Everywhere, public contributions to Salvation Army kettles enable the organization to continue its year-round efforts at helping those who would otherwise be forgotten.