Ring my Bell: Your Online Red Kettle is Waiting!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Salvation Army red kettles will soon be set up across the country for the holiday season. With over 25,000 collection kettles set up across the country, it’s hard to miss the iconic sights and sounds of a Salvation Army bell ringer outside of your local grocer. Those faithful, sometimes very cold volunteers make The Salvation Army’s work possible. Last year alone we raised $142 million for the poor – all from red kettle collections!

This year, we’re making it as easy as ever for you to spread joy and help others this Christmas.

We’re excited to introduce the latest Salvation Army development: the online red kettle! The new online kettle system allows you to set up your own personal kettle and ring a virtual bell via email and social networking – all from home!

Once you register at www.onlineredkettle.org, you can start an individual, company or team kettle campaign and begin collecting donations from family and friends. Those interested in joining your kettle group can search for your name on the home page. It’s as simple as registering online!

All of the donations that you collect in your kettle will help feed hungry families, provide presents for needy children, heat the homes of struggling senior citizens, and bless millions in need. You can even track your progress and start a little friendly competition– all donations are in real time. Click here to get started.

Join thousands of ringers across the country by becoming a virtual bell ringer today! Your kettle is waiting – visit www.onlineredkettle.org to start spreading the joy! To learn more about how your collections will benefit those in need, please visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org.

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Some Tips from the Reigning Online Kettle King

Thursday, December 9, 2010

We know. Salvation Army bell ringers are probably all over the place in your town! but there’s even more of them that you don’t see because their kettles are all online.

Yep. Virtual bell ringers.

And Jim Cummings from Denver, CO seems to be the virtual kettle king. So far this season his online kettle has raised a hefty $52,000, nearly 75% of his $70,000 goal. The guy’s good!

So good, in fact, that this is actually his 5th year in a row to raise the most money for an individual online kettle. As you recall, this Thanksgiving his efforts earned him a trip to our Red Kettle Kickoff in Dallas. In past years his outstanding kettle also won him another trip to Dallas to attend The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board Conference. Jim is on the Salvation Army Advisory Board for Metro Denver where he is 1st vice chair.

[Jim Cummings]
Jim hands out and posts cards encouraging people to donate to his online kettle. This is one side…

How’s he do it? Jim does a great job of reaching out to friends, family, and coworkers through email to encourage them to help him fill his online red kettle. And even something as simple as an email pays off big.

“I am a retired partner of Deloitte and a large portion of my gifts come through present and past Deloitte personnel from all over the world,” he says. “I have received gifts this year from Hong Kong, UK and Germany.”

But as many contacts as Jim already has, he’s not afraid to enlist the help of acquaintances.

Jim regularly volunteers with a real bell and kettle at Walmart and the mall. When people pass by or donate their change, he hands them a card he pre-printed with information about how to donate to his online red kettle. They may forget Jim’s name and web address by the time they get home, but they’ve got the handout to remind them! He also posts the cards at various places like Starbucks and church.

[Jim Cummings ]
…and this is the other.

How does he feel after all that work?

“It was a lot of fun,” he admits. “A lot of people wanted to see me win.”

His impressive record has earned him a special nickname from his church pastor:
“#1 ding-a-ling.”

So what advice can Jim give someone who wants to support The Salvation Army but doesn’t think standing on street corners with a bell and kettle is their thing?

He recommends do it all online by hosting you own virtual red kettle. The website is easy to work with and raising support is as simple as sending an email to friends and family.

To start your own individual or team (yes, get others involved too!) kettle, visit www.onlineredkettle.org.

Who knows, maybe next year you’ll give Jim a run for his money for the 2011 title of #1 ding-a-ling.



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Congrats to Our Kettle Contest Winner! See you in Dallas

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Congratulations to Jim Cummings, the big winner of our Online Red Kettle contest!

Jim has won an expenses-paid trip to Dallas where he’ll be in the middle of all the Thanksgiving Day action straight from the seats of Cowboys Stadiums. That includes a rocking performance by Keith Urban during our Red Kettle Kickoff halftime show and a must-see match-up between the Dallas Cowboys and defending Super Bowl champs, the New Orleans Saints.

Of all individual online red kettles, Jim’s raised the most money, receiving donations all the way from Hong Kong, UK and Germany. Thanks Jim, for your work in helping raise funds to support Salvation Army services for those in need!

The contest may be over, but we still need virtual bell ringers! You can start your own online red kettle by registering at www.onlineredkettle.org.

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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.

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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!

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Red Kettles 2.0

Friday, March 19, 2010

This week we released The Salvation Army’s record-breaking Red Kettle Campaign results, made possible by your generous donations! (Thank you!)

The Washington Times featured a story about this today entitled, “Green Yule for virtual Salvation Army – Cyber kettle shows its mettle,” focusing on the new and unique “virtual” Red Kettle presence, including an iPhone application and the online game Coin Catch. This online presence helps us reach a larger audience and provides more opportunities for people to give back to the community.

The Salvation Army Coin Catch game, inspired by an anonymous donor in Detroit, is entertaining, free to play, and generates donations for The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division where state residents are struggling with the highest unemployment rates in the nation. For people who want to support a good cause but don’t have the extra funds, this program is perfect!

The goal is to catch as many falling coins as possible in a red kettle while avoiding “bad things” like mousetraps and spiders. For every coin you catch, the anonymous donor gives one penny to The Salvation Army. As you catch more money, the game will quickly pause to tell you what a positive impact your funds will have on someone in Detroit (for example, $.33 cents will buy someone a meal, and $.66 provides a baby of bottle formula for a day).

If you haven’t tried our Coin Catch Game yet, visit www.salarmycoincatch.com to test your skill and help someone in need in the process. Thank you again for your support of The Salvation Army and helping make this a record-breaking year!

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Salvation Army Red Kettles Set New Record!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The numbers are in, and U.S. donors contributed a record-breaking $139 million in nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars to The Salvation Army’s iconic Christmas Red Kettle Campaign this year! The results are encouraging because the generous public not only helped us reach it despite a difficult economy, but the funds are especially needed as demand for social services has skyrocketed.

“Our local Corps units are reporting demand for social services that is more than 400 percent above normal in some cases,” said Commissioner Israel L. Gaither, National Commander of The Salvation Army. “We needed help this year and Americans, as well as corporate partners responded in a big way.”

These are a few ways our corporate partners helped make a big impact for a great cause:

* Walmart and Sam’s Club:

Red Kettles located at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores accounted for as much as 29 percent of the total given. The Walmart Foundation also made a direct donation of $1.25 million.

* Kroger:

Kroger stores hosted Salvation Army Red Kettles at nearly 2,000 stores. Those donations raised approx. $11.3 million, or 8% of the campaign’s physical Red Kettle total.

* Target:

Target donated more than $1.25 million in cash and in-kind donations. They also collaborated with Hasbro, Inc. to give 5% of the purchase price of Hasbro toys bought at Target to The Salvation Army.

* JCPenney:

JCPenney and The Salvation Army launched the first-ever Online Angel Giving Tree Program. People could “adopt” Salvation Army “Angels” and deliver gifts via the Internet. Tens of thousands of children and seniors in need were adopted.

* The Weather Channel:

The Weather Channel promoted a compilation CD featuring a Salvation Army-themed single entitled, “Please Don’t Forget,” performed by Grammy Award winner Aaron Neville.

The Salvation Army also used some tech saavy methods to raise money, from a new Apple iPhone application, to Facebook and Twitter, and the Online Red Kettle. An additional $1.9 million was donated through the online Red Kettle. Other online donations totaled $9.6 million, a 5.6% increase over the $9.2 million raised in 2008.

From its humble beginnings as a fundraiser started by a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable outreach efforts in the United States.

Thank you, America, for your generous support and making it possible for our continued service to those in need! For more information, read our press release here.

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