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 across our community. Sometimes it may not seem like much, but the donations we collect through the Red Kettle Campaign impact people in Blount County all year long.

The Salvation Army wants to provide you the opportunity to help provide food to the hungry, gas to the job-seeking, support to the grandparents raising grandchildren, and emergency aid and referrals for those in need. Volunteering individually or with your business, organization or place of worship is a terrific way to ensure support for our neighbors when they hit a rough patch in the coming year.

It is possible to learn more about volunteering at the red kettle and schedule a date in November and December of 2019 at any point during this year. Please e-mail Capt. Maureen Diffley at maureen.diffley@uss.salvationarmy.org.

Donate Now Kettle

WHO CAN RING?

ANYONE! We encourage everyone – businesses, civic groups, churches and teams to volunteer as groups and individuals to ring bells. Contact us by calling 983-7135 or e-mailing Capt. Diffley at maureen.diffley@uss.salvationarmy.org

WHERE DO THE PROCEEDS GO?

About 85% of the proceeds are spent on local ministries in Blount County, including the Friday Lunch and Gas-for-Go-Getters programs, as well as specific individual assistance and other ministries.

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.