M-F, 8:30 AM - 5 PM _____ Phone 207.725.8797


Volunteer to Ring the Bell at the Red Kettles

October 19, 2011

The Christmas Season is upon us once again. Soon, the stores will be decorated with Christmas trees, window displays and all sorts of fixtures reminding us that we must go out and prepare for another wonderful holiday season. However, there will be many for whom the season will be just another stark reminder of their dire financial circumstances. We at The Salvation Army see much of this and we do our very best to help those that for one reason or another need assistance getting through this season. We not only provide assistance during the holidays, but we do our very best to help year round. And in order to do that, we need the financial means to do it. Therefore, enter The Salvation Army Christmas Red Kettles. To volunteer to ring the bell at the Red Kettles call: 207- 443-3611.

Red Kettle History: courtesy of TSA - DFW Metroplex

In 1891, Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee was distraught because so many poor individuals in San Francisco were going hungry. During the holiday season, he resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner for the destitute and poverty-stricken. He only had one major hurdle to overcome -- funding the project.
Where would the money come from, he wondered. He lay awake nights, worrying, thinking, praying about how he could find the funds to fulfill his commitment of feeding 1,000 of the city's poorest individuals on Christmas Day. As he pondered the issue, his thoughts drifted back to his sailor days in Liverpool, England. He remembered how at Stage Landing, where the boats came in, there was a large, iron kettle called "Simpson's Pot" into which passers-by tossed a coin or two to help the poor.

The next day Captain McFee placed a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing at the foot of Market Street. Beside the pot, he placed a sign that read, "Keep the Pot Boiling." He soon had the money to see that the needy people were properly fed at Christmas.

Six years later, the kettle idea spread from the west coast to the Boston area. That year, the combined effort nationwide resulted in 150,000 Christmas dinners for the needy. In 1901, kettle contributions in New York City provided funds for the first mammoth sit-down dinner in Madison Square Garden, a custom that continued for many years. Today in the U.S., The Salvation Army assists more than four-and-a-half million people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas time periods.

Captain McFee's kettle idea launched a tradition that has spread not only throughout the United States, but all across the world. Kettles are now used in such distant lands as Korea, Japan, Chile and many European countries. Everywhere, public contributions to Salvation Army kettles enable the organization to continue its year-round efforts at helping those who would otherwise be forgotten.

The funds raised during this time are used not only for the Christmas effort, but whatever we have left is added to our annual budget to be used assisting people with heating and other utilities, food and housing. We are always looking for people who would be interested in volunteering to participate in this effort. We have both individuals and organizations who are willing to donate some time, If you are considering volunteering some time either individually or as a group effort, I believe that  you will not only be blessed, but you will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you have helped those in the community that are less fortunate. To volunteer call: 207- 443-3611.
Thank you and God Bless, Captain Ken Henderson

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