History of The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign

The Salvation Army Captain in San Francisco had resolved, in December of 1891, to provide a free Christmas dinner to the area’s poor persons.  But how would he pay for the food?

As he went about his daily tasks, the question stayed in his mind.  Suddenly, his thoughts went back to his days as a sailor in Liverpool, England.  On the Stage Landing he saw a large pot, called “Simpson’s pot” into which charitable donations were thrown by passers-by.

On the next morning, he secured permission from the authorities to place a similar pot at the Oakland ferry landing, at the foot of Market Street.  No time was lost in securing the pot and placing it in a conspicuous position, so that it could be seen by all those going to and from the ferry boats.  In addition, a brass urn was placed on a stand in the waiting room for the same purpose.

Thus, Captain Joseph McFee launched a tradition that has spread not only throughout the United States, but throughout the world.

Today, donations to Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama kettles at Christmas time support holiday meals for homeless and needy families, but also help The Salvation Army serve those in need through our various programs all year long.

Learn More:

Bell Ringer Volunteer Opportunities

To donate to The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign On The Go, text COAST to 71777

Click the link below to learn more about the Mobile Red Kettle!

Mobile Red Kettle

For the New Age Bell Ringer: Online Red Kettle

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles have lept into the new technological era and entered the virtual world! Instead of just standing at store fronts, people can now raise money for the Red Kettle Campaign through Online Red Kettles. It’s never been easier to set up, share and save lives!

Find out more about Hosting an Online Red Kettle