National Commander Rings the Bells

Friday, December 2, 2011
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Commissioner William A. Roberts, National Commander of The Salvation Army, decided to forego his lunch break today to ring bells at a red kettle location outside of Starbucks in Old Town Alexandria, VA.
Standing in the cold with a bell in one hand, a coffee occasionally in the other and always a grateful smile on his face, Commissioner Roberts wished passersby a Merry Christmas and offered a boisterous “thank you” to all who donated to the kettle.

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Bell Ringers Discover Unique Donations

Friday, December 2, 2011
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While typical contributions to our red kettles usually involve dollars and coins, on occasion, one of our 25,000 volunteer bell ringers will receive a donation that stands out. We’re only eight days into The Salvation Army’s current Red Kettle Campaign and we’re already hearing stories about unique gifts from kettle passersby.

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Minnesota Bell Ringer Breaks World Record

Friday, November 18, 2011

It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and Jeff “Jingle-Jangle” Olsen, of St. Paul, Minnesota is hardcore rockin’ his red kettle for The Salvation Army. The local broadcaster of KOOL 108 FM and Salvation Army volunteer is currently in first place at www.onlineredkettle.org, with a whopping $24,786.84 raised in donations so far!

Nearly a third of this amount was given by an anonymous donor who attended the Twin Cities Kettle Kickoff Event and handed Jeff a check for $8,000.

Check out Jeff Olsen’s KOOL Kettle online.

If that’s not enough, Jeff set a new world record for nonstop bell ringing for 30 hours straight outside of a local grocery store! Bear in mind, we’re talking about Minnesota in November here, folks.

“[It] is the least I can do for an organization that spends 365 days and nights insuring that the most vulnerable people in my community find comfort in a time of need. It is my hope that anyone who feels as blessed as me will use my record-breaking stunt as inspiration to volunteer or make a donation to The Salvation Army this holiday season. The need has never been greater.”, Olsen said on www.Kool108.com.

We’re absolutely amazed at the love and dedication of our supporters across the country. The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign funds the many amazing programs that help millions in need throughout the year: feeding the hungry, providing Christmas joy for disadvantaged children, and blessing families in need.

Do you think you can beat Jeff’s online red kettle? Virtual bell ringer Nick Pepperworth is currently in second place at $17,725. Check out the top ten kettles and start your own by visiting www.OnlineRedKettle.org!

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Introducing Digital Donating with Square Technology

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Salvation Army is accepting mobile credit card donations via smartphones equipped with Square technology at its Red Kettles in select cities.

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Tonight: Grab Your Remote and Tune In

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We don’t usually make requests like this on our blog, but today we have a great reason…

Be sure to watch the new NBC hit show “The Voice” Tuesday, May 10 (tonight!) at 10pm ET/ 9pm CT.

We’ll be rooting for Minneapolis musician Tim Mahoney as he performs tonight. Not only is he talented, he’s also been a Salvation Army bell ringer for Twin Cities Salvation Army since 2007 and regularly raises money for the organization through live performances.

What’s not to love? Grab your remote and help us show some love to our talented ringer and singer Tim!

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A Sudanese “Lost Boy” Finds New Family, Home with The Salvation Army

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Do you ever wonder, “Who are those people who so faithfully ring the bells alongside Salvation Army Red Kettles every holiday season? What is it that motivates each of them to serve?”

What makes many of these faithful servants unique is that many bell ringers have been on the other side of the social service system. They have first-hand experience at homelessness and going without – bell ringers like Peter Adup, one of the “lost boys” from Sudan who escaped to the U.S. as a teenager when his entire family perished due to political strife. He has no immediate family left, but The Salvation Army has become his family.

He currently resides at a Salvation Army homeless shelter, where he’s working to get back on his feet with gainful employment – perhaps even as a Salvation Army officer one day! In his free time, he volunteers every chance he gets, including as a bell ringer.

Peter Adup is recognized as Southern California’s “Bellringer of the Year.” (Photo from Salvation Army of Southern California’s Facebook album.)

For three years in a row now he’s been stationed at one of the highest trafficked kettles in Los Angeles.
Due to his contagious smile and amazing energy, his has one of the most successful kettles in town.

Despite all of the hardship Peter has faced in his home land – or perhaps because it – Peter’s desire is to pursue full-time ministry and return to Africa as a missionary.

His amazing attitude and contagious energy are evident to all, and those are just a few of the reasons the Southern California Division has named him “Bell Ringer of the Year.”

His is an inspiring story of triumphing despite all odds.

Information submitted by Dawn Wright from The Salvation Army USA’s Southern California Division. Thanks Dawn!

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An Unconventional Christmas Story

Thursday, December 23, 2010

One of the things I love most about Christmas is the many classic holiday tales that are told every year and yet never seem to get old. There’s Clement Clarke Moore’s poem Twas the Night Before Christmas, Dr. Seuss’ beloved How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and, if you want to count animated classics, those great TV specials featuring Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

This year I have a new favorite. It really isn’t a Christmas story at all, but it has all the makings of one, and best of all, it’s true.

In The Chicago Tribune, Rex Huppke admitted to having a “bah humbug” attitude when he hears the ringing of Salvation Army hand bells. More specifically, he said he’d like to “gather them up and throw them all into Lake Michigan.”

To make it worse, he made it his personal mission to “rid the world of unsolicited street ringing.” Who is this guy, the long lost cousin of the Grinch?

But as Huppke adamantly pursues his Scrooge-like quest against The Salvation Army, he has an epiphany that leads him to a complete change of heart. We might even say “it grew three sizes that day!”

We highly recommend you give the article a read. We’ve linked to it here. Even if you enjoy the sound of Salvation Army Bellringers, Huppke’s insight offers a poignant reminder of the purpose behind this holiday tradition.

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Blizzard Forces Stop to Red Kettle Campaign for First Time in Minnesota History

Monday, December 13, 2010

Blizzard conditions have wreaked havoc across the Midwest since this weekend. By all indications, it’s BAD.

So bad that for the first time in history, The Salvation Army’s Northern Division has had to cancel bell ringing and pull Red Kettles from the streets and store fronts!

The unprecedented event even made the top headline on the national news website Drudge Report.

[Front page of Drudge Report]

The Northern Division, which covers Minnesota and North Dakota, is concerned the blizzard will put them significantly behind in fundraising, and they expect to be short $500,000 in the Twin Cities alone.

The loss of these funds will directly affect the work of The Salvation Army’s feeding programs, food pantries, homeless shelters and the countless other services they provide in Minnesota and North Dakota.

If you’d like to help The Salvation Army beat this blizzard, go to http://www.thesalarmy.org/cont/donate.htm to learn how to donate to The Salvation Army’s efforts in the Twin Cities and all across the country.

Thanks for your help!

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Help Us Thank Our Amazing Partners!

Monday, December 13, 2010

If you’ve started to tackle your Christmas shopping, you’ve probably noticed our Salvation Army red kettles are out in full force. There’s going to be around 25,000 workers and volunteers this season collecting donations in front of your favorite stores.

This iconic tradition and vital fundraiser started in 1891 in San Francisco would not be the same without the generous support of the businesses who welcome Salvation Army bell ringers and kettles outside their doors.

Have you noticed that everyone you know recognizes a Salvation Army bell ringer and kettle? That’s because thanks to these businesses kindly sharing their space with us, we’ve been able to significantly raise awareness of need in your local community and our efforts to serve that need.

In fact, this broad visibility has contributed to The Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign being known as one of the most enduring and recognizable fundraising campaigns ever.

As if that weren’t enough, many of these stores even match kettle donations or contribute their own!

Here at The Salvation Army we want to offer a huge THANK YOU to all the stores who welcome our red kettles. Thank you for believing in our cause and giving us the opportunity. We’re proud to partner with you in serving our communities.

Next time you see a kettle outside a store, we encourage you to let the business know how much you appreciate their support of The Salvation Army. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them!

Below is a list of our national store partners. This list is not exhaustive, as there are many more regional and local businesses who participate in our Red Kettle Campaign as well:

* Big Lots
* Bloomingdale’s
* Hobby Lobby
* JCPenney
* Kroger
* Macy’s
* Sam’s Club
* Simon Malls
* Walgreens
* WalMart

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We Have an App for That

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mashable, one of the most well-known blogs focused exclusively on social media, just released a their top 5 list of non-profit apps that you should know about, and The Salvation Army ‘ Bellringer’ App made the rank!

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