Children’s Story ‘The Bell’ Teaches Lessons of Love & Compassion

Thursday, November 10, 2011

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.

Read More

Update: Honor Society Will Rock the Red Kettle in More Cities!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

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.

Read More

The Virtual Bell Ringer Contest is Officially On!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Last week we posted about the Online Red Kettle – one of the newest developments from The Salvation Army that makes is easy for anyone to ‘ring the…

Read More

Did You Know, Pt. 4: Red Kettle

Thursday, May 12, 2011

How has a crab pot transformed millions of lives? The answer is found in today’s National Salvation Army Week video!

For more information about The Salvation Army, visit our national website at www.salvationarmyusa.org. You can also find us on Facebook @SalvationArmyUSA and on Twitter@salvationarmyus.

• San Francisco, CA: The Salvation Army will team up with the Rotary Club of San Francisco, NPS Presidio Park Police and Sports Basement for the third Annual “Bike Build” on May 14 to provide 75 underprivileged children from San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood with new bikes and helmets.

• Tyler, TX: The Salvation Army of Tyler will host the “Doing The Most Good” luncheon, a community fundraiser, on Thursday, May 12. All week, the Army will also be running PSAs featuring advisory board members, employees and others sharing their experiences with The Salvation Army.
• Nashville, TN: The Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team will host The Salvation Army as Charity of the Night on Saturday, May 14. The Army will host a booth at the stadium featuring activities and giveaways for families and kids as the Sounds take on the Sacramento Rivercats.

Read More

It’s a Record: $142 Million in Giving!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thank you, America! The Salvation Army raised $142 million in Christmas Red Kettles during the 2010 season, setting a record for the sixth straight year!

This is great news considering how much more need we’ve seen across the country, and these funds will go to support our many programs year round.

Wow. It was a busy Red Kettle season, to say the least. We used many of our traditional efforts, from the volunteer bell ringers you probably saw on every corner, to our annual Thanksgiving Day Kickoff at Cowboys Stadium. Plus, we had a few new ideas up our sleeves, like our Rock the Red Kettle Concert and a new iPhone app.

When it all comes down to it, though, we couldn’t have done any of this without you. Thank you for your generosity. And thanks to our many corporate partners for your continued support. We’re very grateful for all of your help with assisting those in need!

If you’d like to know more about our record Red Kettle Season, check out our official press release here.

Or if you’re more of a visual person, you may prefer this cool fact sheet:

Read More

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!

Read More

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

Read More

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.



Read More

Get Ready To Rock the Red Kettle with These Rock Bands

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Salvation Army has a lot going on at Christmas time, but this year we’re trying something completely new, and we have a feeling that it’s going to be awesome.

It’s our inaugural Rock the Red Kettle Concert, happening in only one week!

On Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 7pm PST at The Americana at Brand Shopping Center in Glendale, CA, the hottest new young rock bands are going to perform together for this FREE concert open to the public. We’ll stream the whole thing LIVE from www.ustream.tv/rocktheredkettle so you can even watch from your computer.

The hit lineup includes:

With this concert we want to reach and inspire a younger generation of philanthropists.

Plenty of kids, tweens, and teens are looking for opportunities to make a difference and get behind a worthy cause, so with the help of these bands, The Salvation Army is going to show them how to do it.

In between songs and sets, the audience will get to know more about the good the Army does and how the technology they use everyday can be tied in to support our mission. We’ve got everything from online red kettles, a Text to Give initiative, an iPhone bellringer app, and Facebook and Twitter pages ready to be harnessed by the tech saavy teenage masses!

Check back with our blog next Wednesday when we’ll post the live streaming video.

It’s guaranteed to be a rockin’ good time. You won’t want to miss this!

Read More

Check Out These Ringers

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We’ve been hearing about some unique Red Kettle bell ringers who are using creative approaches to help raise more money for Salvation Army services in their communities.

These ringers will make you take a second look if you pass by their kettles.

Tinker the Tiny Horse. She doesn’t have hands but she still manages to ring for hours. Watch video

Elvis Presley -The King lives afterall…singing and ringing and shakin’ his hips at Wal-Mart. Watch Video

Union Soldiers Vs. Confederate Soldiers – They’re at it again, but this time they’re fighting for bragging rights of best Red Kettle fundraiser. Read more

Dallas Cowboys Football Players vs. Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders – This team is even competitive off the field…but do they stand a chance against the ladies? Read more

Read More