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.
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.
Actor and recording artist Robert Davi released his version of the holiday song, originally sung by 50′s crooner Frank Sinatra, in support of The Salvation Army. Every penny of Davi’s proceeds from the single will go directly towards The Salvation Army’s 120th Annual Red Kettle Campaign
With our Red Kettle Campaign officially kicking off yesterday, our annual Christmas tradition is in full swing. Starting today, thousands of faithful volunteer bell ringers standing outside of stores across the country, collecting donations for the millions of Americans in need. With a record number of families requesting help this year, we hope to exceed our collection goals so that we can continue providing the basic necessities for those who are struggling financially.
In light of Thanksgiving, we are so thankful for not only the volunteers that tirelessly ring bells for The Salvation Army, but also for the many stores that allow our kettles to be stationed outside of their door at this time each year.
When the kettle tradition was founded by Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee in 1891, he sought out a location for his collection “pot” that would be well-trafficked. He chose the Oakland Ferry Landing in San Francisco so it could be seen by everyone going to and from the ferry boats. Today, our corporate partnerships provide just that – prime locations during the season of giving (and shopping!).
Along with the thousands of local businesses that allow our kettles to collect, The Salvation Army would like to thank these national store partners in particular:
Along with supporting The Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign, many of our corporate partners individually contribute to The Salvation Army through various promotions and campaigns. We couldn’t “Do the Most Good” without their support.
From everyone at The Salvation Army: Thank You for supporting our efforts to ensure service to millions of Americans in need.
Congratulations to Nick Pepperworth of Anchorage, AK, the winner of our Online Red Kettle Contest! Nick was able to collect donations from more individual donors than anyone else with a total of 38 contributors to his kettle by contest’s ending. Nick’s kettle is also in second place for highest dollar amount raised: $18,355 and rising! [...]
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!
The Salvation Army is accepting mobile credit card donations via smartphones equipped with Square technology at its Red Kettles in select cities.
Volunteer bell ringer raises awareness and $2,500 in donations by playing euphonium at red kettle for 36 hours straight.
Detroit resident builds world’s largest kettle as a thank you to The Salvation Army for the help that was provided to him.
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.