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The Do Gooders Podcast

Dec 4, 2019

Each year from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, you’ll spot The Salvation Army’s red kettles outside of grocery stores and shopping malls just about everywhere you go.

The kettle debuted in San Francisco in 1891 in the midst of a depression that had thrown many out of work. A Salvation Army officer put out a crab pot on the ferry landing to collect donations to feed those who were hungry on Christmas Day. Passerby dropped in coins and the campaign was born.

Now every year, about 25,000 bell ringers, young and old, brave the elements to help The Salvation Army raise money for local community programs. And yes, money given in your community stays in your community. Those gifts allow The Salvation Army to serve 23 million Americans a year.

And in Redding, California, Captain Timothy Danielson runs the local Salvation Army kettle campaign with 100 percent volunteer bell ringers.

Last year, those volunteers gave 2,300 hours ringing the bell. Collectively, they raised more than $136,000—a 7 percent increase from 2017.

But as Danielson says, though critical for raising money to keep Salvation Army ministry going—the red kettle serves as a reminder to busy, Christmas passerby that hope exists.

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