Bell Ringers – From Festive to…Funky?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I know it’s not even Halloween yet, but I can’t wait to see Salvation Army Red Kettles on street corners and outside store fronts and to hear the accompanying ring of hand bells.

Part of my anticipation has to do with the festiveness wrapped up in this tradition. For me, that familiar scene triggers the comforting realization that the holidays are here.

Most of my eagerness though has to do with the people. I can’t help but appreciate and respect bell ringers who have obviously taken time out of their schedule to stand on sidewalks and ring their hearts (or hands?) out in order help those in need.

My favorite is when I see a bell ringer get creative and incorporate their talents, usually singing or playing an instrument. Sure, it kicks up the “fun factor,” but mostly I love how a person’s devotion to their cause can inspire them to use their imagination and inspire others in return. With that in mind, you’ll understand my excitement when I came across this video this morning from The Salvation Army’s Northern Division (serving Minnesota and North Dakota):

I’ve seen carolers, and I’ve seen musicians, but rappers? That’s a first!

Apparently the “Salvation Souljas” made the music video to recruit more volunteer bell ringers, so I don’t know if they actually rhyme and dance when they’re manning the Kettles.

But if we happen to see an increase in funky, flowing bell ringers this season, now we know where the trend started!

In Haiti, Clinic Prepares for Influx of Cholera Patients

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A cholera outbreak in Haiti has been the cause of at least 259 deaths and thousands of more infections, with a handful of cases emerging in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

While the infection and death rate seems to be stabilizing, officials and aid workers are focused on containing the disease so that it does not spread en masse in the highly populated area of Port-au-Prince.

Dr. Danielle Prosper leads The Salvation Army clinic there and is preparing should there be a possible influx of cholera patients.

The clinic is surrounded by an Internally Displaced Persons camp managed by The Salvation Army in partnership with Concern Worldwide and Viva Rio. The camp shelters 13,000 residents. While conditions are harsh, the camp does have a sufficient supply of safe drinking water, toilets, and a good drainage system.

For some months, classes have been conducted in the camp teaching women and children the importance of thorough hand washing and cooking of food since cholera is primarily spread through contact with dirty water.

The Salvation Army is communicating with Haitian health officials about the government’s recommended course of treatment for victims, as well as acquiring an adequate supply of vaccines for medical staff and response workers.

Kickin’ Off This Year’s Red Kettle Campaign Is…

Monday, October 25, 2010

The wait is over! Our National Advisory Board Chair Charlotte Jones Anderson made the announcement on ESPN’s Monday Night Football this evening…

Three-time Grammy Award winner Keith Urban has been named the featured performer for this year’s Salvation Army’s Kettle Kickoff! That means you get to watch him rock out during the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game halftime show on November 25 aired on FOX. (Read our official press release here)

But instead of watching from your couch, how would you like to catch all the action live at Cowboys Stadium?

As a part of the Kettle Kickoff promotion, fans will have an opportunity to win an expense-paid trip to the game to see Keith’s performance and watch Dallas take on last year’s Super Bowl champs, the New Orleans Saints. Just signup to be an Online Red Kettle virtual bell ringer at www.onlineredkettle.org, and the fans who collect the most donations for people in need have a chance to win! You can checkout rules and details at www.onlineredkettle.org, but the contest has started and there’s no time to waste, so we’re including key info below as well.

May the best virtual bell ringer win!

Eligibilty: The Contest is open to legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older, residing in one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia. Employees, soldiers and officers affiliated with The Salvation Army and their family members are eligible to participate.

Contest Time Period: The Contest runs from October 25, 2010 through Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 12 noon ET.

How to Sign Up: Participants can sign up for individual Online Red Kettles on the Internet at www.onlineredkettle.org and following the directions provided.

Prize Package: The prize package includes:

* Two game tickets to the November 25, 2010, Thanksgiving Day game between the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX

* Two field-level passes to the Keith Urban half-time performance

* One-night hotel stay for two persons at the Gaylord Hotel & Convention Center in Dallas in a single room with two queen-sized beds

* Two round-trip coach-class airline tickets from U.S. destinations (excluding U.S. territories and outlying areas) on a major commercial carrier, subject to seat availability

Winner: The participant whose individual Online Red Kettle has the highest monetary total of donations as of November 21, 2010 at 12 noon ET, will be declared the winner.

Tie-Breaker: In the event that more than one kettle has the exact same total, the person whose kettle was registered in the Online Red Kettle system first will be declared the winner.

Notification: The winner will be notified via the e-mail address they used to register their individual Online Red Kettle.

General Conditions: No purchase necessary.
Again, for more contest details please visit www.OnlineRedKettle.org or our website at www.salvationarmyusa.org.

Tonight: Kettle Kickoff Talent Revealed!

Monday, October 25, 2010

We can hardly wait to announce who will be this year’s Salvation Army Kettle Kick-Off musical talent!

Thankfully, we only have to wait just a little bit longer before the big surprise is revealed tonight, Monday Oct. 25, on ESPN’s Monday night football.

As in previous years, the chart-topping act will perform live during the nationally televised Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day halftime show.

Past Kettle Kick-Off celebrities have included Daughtry, the Jonas Brothers, Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes, Toby Keith, and Destiny’s Child, among others.

So, who do you think will join their ranks in Kettle-Kick Off tradition?

Feel free to leave your guesses, and tune in to ESPN tonight to see if you’re right!