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11/20/2011 02:33 PM
In 1891, Captain Joseph McFee wanted to help the poor people in San Francisco; especially for the coming Christmas season, but he didn't know where to get funding for his project. He remembered, during his early days as a sailor in Liverpool, England, seeing a large kettle called "Simpson's Pot" where passengers of boats that docked at Stage Landing tossed coins to help the poor.
The following day, Captain McFee placed a pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing, beside the pot was a sign that read "Keep the Pot Boiling." He was able to collect enough donations to have a Christmas dinner for the poor people.
Captain McFee's idea spread and in 1897, a nationwide effort was able to fund 150,000 Christmas dinners for the poor. In 1901, donations from New York city funded a sit-down dinner at Madison Square Garden.
Today, bell ringers and red kettles are seen on many reputable stores and malls across the world. They use bells to attract the attention of passersby, some volunteers even sing Christmas carols or play musical instruments to raise donations. Some of the newer kettles even have a self-ringing bell and a PA system that plays Christmas carols.
Money collected through the red kettles are used to help the needy, the sick, the aged and other less fortunate individuals, especially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.
IT ALL STARTS ON BLACK FRIDAY - NOVEMBER 25, 2011
Bell ringers for the Salvation Army will begin collecting money for the charity on Black Friday in front of Walmart and fundraising efforts will continue through Christmas.
Shirley Hardy, a Salvation Army volunteer since 1982, said about 15 volunteers from the community, the Optimist Club and the Kiwanis, will be taking turns ringing the organization's signature bells.
Today, these fund raising efforts help pay electric and gas bills, pay for medication, help with rent and buy food for the needy. The Army's mission is to provide emergency assistance for people in crisis situations.
The bell ringing campaign is the Salvation Army's only public fundraising campaign of the year.
The holiday’s is about sharing and giving. Regardless of religion, there are many different organizations that help those in need, the Salvation Army is one of them.
This year, support the Salvation Army bell ringing campaign and be a part of an effort that began many years ago.
INNOVATIVE BELL RINGING NOW AVAILABLE FOR YOUR IPHONE
With the power of technology, a familiar sight outside of stores and at shopping malls during the holidays is now available for the iPhone.
The Salvation Army has developed the opportunity for you to be a bell ringer through your iPhone. The iPhone app is a wonderful way to raise awareness for thousands of people in need, and have a little fun at the same time.
By downloading the Bellringer app, you, your friends, and your family can share in the tradition of being a Salvation Army Bellringer volunteer.
With 12 musical notes to choose from, you and your friends can ring your bells together and create unique sounds, play your favorite holiday songs, or make up an on-the-spot jingle.
To buy the iPhone app, and change lives for the better, please visit http://bellringer.salvationarmyusa.org/. Your purchase will serve as a donation to The Salvation Army bell ringing program.