Salvation Army volunteer Scott Cornwell was ringing a bell for Christmas kettle donations in 2005 when he was inspired to tell the deeper meaning behind the iconic red kettles. Collecting donations at the Mall of America, he realized his bell was broken and needed repairing. It was at that moment that Scott realized the broken bell was symbolic of the very people The Salvation Army helps to restore each day.
This realization helped him create the children’s story The Bell – an illustrative way to teach children the importance of compassion and to provide better understanding behind the holiday tradition of bell ringing.
The story’s main character is Bella, a broken hand bell who is certain no one loves her because she’s unable to make a sound. Bella is downtrodden and broken; representative of the millions of Americans The Salvation Army seeks to help each day. Thanks to a kind man, Bella is eventually restored and able to make music again.
Bella’s story is not uncommon. Through the generosity of donors and the loving hearts of faithful volunteers, thousands of broken lives are repaired every day. This is the purpose of The Salvation Army: mending the lives and spirits of people in need – counseling, rehabilitating, and meeting basic needs. This is why our red kettles started 120 years ago. Thousands of small donations really add up – $142 million last year from our Christmas kettles! Donations are turned right around to serve the community in which they were raised.
So as the holidays approach and you see that dedicated bell ringer outside of your local store, we hope you’ll remember the story of The Bell. By simply donating your extra change, you’ll help restore the life and spirit of someone who truly needs a boost.
If you would like to share this touching story with a child, order your copy by visiting http://thebellstory.com/book.php. A bonus: a portion of the proceeds from this book have been donated to The Salvation Army!
You can also visit The Bell’s Facebook Page by clicking here.
Are you looking for ways to give or volunteer? Please visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org.
Worried you might miss Honor Society perform during their Rock the Red Kettle national tour this holiday season? We have some good news- the band has released even more concert dates in more cities across the country!
Here’s the complete list of Honor Society concert dates so far (click on the city to RSVP and grab your tickets!):
Orlando, FL: November 26
Atlanta, GA: November 27
Teaneck, NJ: November 29
New York, NY: November 30
Boston, MA: December 1
Montreal, Canada: December 2
Toronto, Canada: December 3
West Chester, PA: December 4
Vienna, VA: December 5
Nashville, TN: December 6
Detroit, MI: December 7
Chicago, IL: December 8
Cleveland, OH: December 9
Pittsburgh, PA: December 10
St. Louis, MO: December 12
Phoenix, AZ: December 15
Los Angeles, CA: December 18
For the second year in a row, Honor Society is helping The Salvation Army create awareness for our Christmas Red Kettle collections. We’re especially excited to rock out this year. Why? Because not only is Honor Society’s newest album A Tale of Risky Business, Pt. 2 REALLY GOOD, but this is The Salvation Army’s 120th year of collecting donations for the poor at Christmas red kettles.
That’s right- since 1891 those iconic red kettles and familiar bells have been bringing in donations so that The Salvation Army can serve others in need.
Join us as we rock out in celebration of another great season of giving!
For updates, check back here or looks us up on Facebook or Twitter.
The following story was contributed by The Salvation Army, Modesto Red Shield Center of Modesto, CA.
The Salvation Army, Modesto Red Shield has been offering services to youth and their families in the community of South Modesto since 1968. Historically, the center has offered a variety of programs that service some of the poorest families in the city of Modesto. Currently, the center services approximately 100+ youth per day. It provides a safe haven for youth to come and feel as if they have a place in which they belong. Many of the youth and families call it their “Disneyland”. Youth are made to feel welcome, loved and encouraged to live up to their full potential at the Red Shield. Sometimes we see change, and sometimes we even see parents transformed as a result of their children.
One example of a life touched and transformed is that of a young girl, who came into the center over 10 years ago. Her name is Destiny.
At the time Destiny was only 7 years old, living with her Grandmother and facing an extreme form of poverty due to forces beyond her control. Her mother was a substance abuser and there was little mention of her father in the picture. Alone and in need of a bath and proper shelter, she walked into the Red Shield seeking food. The Program Director, Terry Humphres went out of her way to provide Destiny with a plate of food and a listening ear. Upon hearing the story of this young girl’s dire situation of homelessness, Terry went out of her way to intervene by getting permission to get the little girl cleaned up, fed and properly clothed. Destiny came back several days later wanting food for both herself and her Grandmother, as they both were living in a trailer home with no electricity or running water. Terry was able to secure food for the entire family as well as other services the family needed.
Terry was eventually able to obtain temporary custody of Destiny for a short period of time. During this time, she was taught some invaluable skills- including how to read her Bible and the importance of prayer. Daily diligent prayer for her mother eventually paid off, as her mom eventually went through a detoxification/rehabilitation program. Shortly after, Destiny’s mom made another pivotal decision that would change the course of her and her daughter’s life. She made a decision to fight for their future. Packing all of their belongings, she, her mother and her daughter decided to move out of state to try and start over in a different environment with better influences. Eventually the mother was able to go to college, earn her degree and is now on the road to helping other families by becoming a Social Worker.
Last week, Destiny placed a call to Terry, expressing her thanks and appreciation for all Terry had done for her over 10 years ago. Destiny was preparing for her high school prom in high spirits, grateful to God for placing someone in her life at a time when she needed help the most.
The Salvation Army, Modesto Red Shield has youth that come in and out of the center on a daily basis who are also dealing with situations of neglect and poverty. Some of these kids have been through the foster care system and are hoping for things to change in their families. Sometimes reaching out to the youth has a way of eventually bringing in the parents who have decided they want to change for their children. We are here to make a difference in whatever way possible.
What’s your Thanksgiving usually like? Perhaps turkey, family and board games? Maybe you opt for take-out food and friends?
This year, your Turkey Day could include Cowboys, Dolphins and a Latin Sensation. Interested? Read on!
By now you’ve probably heard our exciting news about pop superstar Enrique Iglesias performing at our 15th Annual Red Kettle Kickoff show at the Dallas Cowboys game on Thanksgiving Day. We’re pumped that Enrique’s supporting The Salvation Army’s Christmas kettle efforts and we’re so excited to hear him sing hits from his Euphoria tour during halftime of the big game!
As part of the promotion, the Dallas Cowboys are offering the chance to spend Thanksgiving with Enrique! The package includes:
2 Tickets to Cowboys vs Dolphins on Thanksgiving Day
A Meeting with Enrique Iglesias
Round Trip Travel for 2
Hotel Accommodations for 2
In addition, you could win one of 20 Dallas Cowboys jerseys autographed by Enrique Iglesias. For a chance to win, Click Here or visit http://www.dallascowboys.com/fans/promotion_thanksgiving2011.cfm to enter your name. You can also visit the Dallas Cowboys Facebook Page for more information.
Hurry! The contest ends November 15.
Contestants must be at least 18 years old and living within the continental US to be eligible to win.
So what’s this “kettle kickoff” about? Each year, The Salvation Army “kicks off” their Christmas Red Kettle season with a halftime show at the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game. The event is intended to promote our annual Christmas collections for the poor. Last year alone, our volunteer bell ringers raised $142 million outside of grocery stores nationwide. All of our collections go directly toward helping families and individuals in need: feeding hungry families, providing Christmas gifts for disadvantaged children and senior citizens, and giving individuals a warm bed at night. Click here to learn more about The Salvation Army and how your donation this Christmas will help millions of impoverished Americans.