We all want to do good. It’s human nature to want to be able to help another person we see that may need a hand. Every Christmas, you put coins and bills in our red kettles all across our community. It may not seem like much but it means new life – a second chance – for thousands of our neighbors.
The Salvation Army is celebrating the many reasons that motivate you to give. We call them Red Kettle Reasons and they represent all of the different thoughts and experiences that cause you to give so generously each year.
Please share your reasons on social media by adding #RedKettleReason to all of your social media messages on places like Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
Thank you for your continued support!
HISTORY OF THE RED KETTLE
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 the money would come from, he wondered. He lay awake nights, worrying, thinking, and 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.
WHERE DO THE PROCEEDS GO?
Where do the proceeds from the Red Kettle Campaign go? They go to support the local ministries of The Salvation Army that include our Emergency Assistance Program, Men’s and Women’s Transitional Housing Programs, Disaster Relief, the Joy D. Baker Center for women impacted by Domestic Violence and for Homeless Women with Children, and our Rainbow Promises program focused on the needs of the children living at the Joy D. Baker Center.
WHO CAN RING?
ANYONE! We encourage everyone from church groups, civic groups and area businesses to school groups and teams to volunteer to ring bells. There are over 60 kettle locations in the Knoxville area and all need bell ringers. Contact Hannah Hankins at (865) 525-9401 to check availability and sign up.