Thursday, November 30, 2023

Bells are ringing…

Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign is now under way

The iconic Red Kettle Christmas Campaign of the Salvation Army is now under way and in need of both volunteer bell ringers and contributions, officials said. The 133rd Red Kettle Campaign is the largest and longest-running fundraiser of its kind and is especially needed now to meet the increasing needs of families living in the United States, officials said. Funds raised in 2022 supported services for nearly 24 million people.

The goal this year has been set at $7.9 million. The campaign provides vital funds to feed, clothe and shelter individuals and families in need of support this Christmas season and throughout the year. According to Salvation Army officers, donations have been down in recent years. In 2019, the Red Kettle Campaign raised $126 million, that number dropped to $102 million in 2022. The drop is likely due to the pandemic, inflation and people no longer carry much cash with them.

The Salvation Army is the nation's largest private provider of social services and the Red Kettle Campaign funds Christmas gifts, food, shelter, and rent and utility assistance to millions of people struggling during the holiday season and beyond.

 “As we head into the holidays, many of our neighbors have faced increased challenges, but The Salvation Army is committed to providing love and service to all who seek it,” said Commissioner Kenneth Hodder, national commander of The Salvation Army.  

Across the nation, volunteers, donors, communities, and corporations have stepped up in remarkable ways: 

The Dallas Cowboys played host to the 27th annual Red Kettle Kickoff at the Thanksgiving Day game halftime show, which featured an inspiring and highly anticipated performance by Dolly Parton. The event will also feature the ceremonial Red Kettle donation from the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation.

On Dec. 9, The Salvation Army's national commander is challenging bell ringers across the country to raise $2 million in just four hours. An interactive map with participating Red Kettle teams will be available at for those who wish to donate in person or virtually in support of the goal.

Throughout the season, supporters can still donate to thousands of Red Kettles stationed outside storefronts at Walmart, Sam's Club, Kroger Family of Stores, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's, Walgreens, Boscov's, Big Lots, Dillard's, Food Lion, Hobby Lobby/Mardel, JCPenney, Redner's Markets, and countless local partners.

The following options are available for those wishing to support their neighbors in need: 

Donate with cash, coins, and checks, or digitally with Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and Venmo, at any Red Kettle across the country.

Provide Christmas gifts to children of local families in need through The Salvation Army Angel Tree. You can also contact your local Salvation Army about volunteering to distribute donated Angel Tree gifts.

Contact your local Salvation Army to sign up to volunteer at a Red Kettle.

Sign up for a sustaining gift of $25 a month at

Give any amount by texting “KETTLES” to 51555.

Donate cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.

Every donation stays in the community to provide help and hope for those in need. To give help or get help, please visit? 

The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit is now accepting applications for Christmas assistance from residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties at all metro Detroit Salvation Army corps community centers.  Families with children up to the age of 14 can apply to receive Christmas assistance from The Salvation Army corps community centers for assistance with toys and holiday meals. Senior citizens will receive grocery store gift cards. 

“In a season traditionally filled with festive dinners and exchanging presents with loved ones, too many families in metro Detroit are struggling just to make ends meet and put food on the table,” said Major Toni Dorrell, metro Detroit area commander. “For our neighbors in dire need that may be in the position of choosing between paying the bills and buying presents for their children this year - help is available through The Salvation Army.” Applicants must provide proof of all members living in the household. Adults must provide a form of identification - which can include a driver's license or state ID - and proof that they live in the zip code served by the corps at which they are applying (such as a recent utility bill or rent lease). Names and dates of birth for children in the household are also required so that assistance with toys may be provided.  Salvation Army locations are taking applications in a variety of ways, including online and by phone. Applicants must submit their application to the corps community center which serves their zip code. To learn more about how to apply, contact the nearest Salvation Army corps community center. For help finding the nearest center, visit

The historic campaign began with the effort of one man to help feed his hungry neighbors in San Francisco in 1891. Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee was distraught because so many poor individuals 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 to feed1,000 of the city's poorest individuals on Christmas Day. He recalled his days as a sailor Liverpool, England and remembered that when boats came in at Stage Landing, 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 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.

To learn more about The Salvation Army's Kettle Campaign, visit