Red Kettle volunteers needed

Published 3:00 am Friday, December 16, 2016

Silver bells, jingle bells and “Ho!  Ho! Ho! are sounds of the season but, perhaps, there is no sound that says “Merry Christmas” more than the ringing of the Salvation Army bell.

Kim May, director of the Pike County Salvation Army, said the Red Kettle fundraising campaign has been an American icon for 125 years.

“The Salvation Army bells can be heard from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve,” May said. “The Red Kettles and the ringing of the bells outside storefronts are Christmas traditions in small towns and the largest cities. The Red Kettle campaign raises money to fund programs that provide food, shelter, rehabilitation and disaster relief for our friends and neighbors in crisis.”

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May said the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign began in 1891 when Captain Joseph McFee of the Salvation Army in San Francisco was trying to find money to feed 1,000 poor people at Christmastime.

“Captain McFee remembered when he was a sailor in Liverpool, England, there was a large pot on the city’s waterfront docks where people could throw charitable donations,” May said. “He got permission to put a brass urn at the ferry landing with a sign that said, ‘Keep the Pot Boiling.’ He got the money he needed to fund the Christmas dinner.”

The rest is history. Red Kettles can be found all across the United States and around the word as the Salvation Army works tirelessly to “Keep the Pot Boiling.”

“The Red Kettle campaign is the Pike County Salvation Army’s largest fundraiser and the funds raised are used to help people here at home,” May said. “And, there are many people in our area who are in crisis situations. The more money that is raised, the more friends and neighbors we can help.”

As of Wednesday, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign in Pike County was about $1,600 down from where it was this time last year, May said.

“Nationally, the dollars are down but we are optimistic that the generosity of people will come through,” she said. “The people of Pike County have a giving spirit and I believe that they will keep the pot boiling for people here at home.”

May said there is still a need for bell ringers from now through Christmas Eve.

“We hope to keep bells ringing at all our locations,” she said. “Dimes make dollars so we appreciate any and all donations to our Red Kettle campaign.”

Those who would like to volunteer as bell ringers may do so by calling 334-808-1069 or 268-2553 or 672-4481.

May expressed appreciation to this year’s Red Kettle sponsors:  Sanders Lead, KW plastics, Troy Kiwanis Club, Wallace Pump and Supply, Court Referral Services, Edward Jones (Kenny Green), Troy Exchange Club, Beckett Insurance Agency, Jay Shirley CPA, Jerry Carden Financial, Troy Bank & Trust, Dillard Funeral Home, Green Hills Funeral Home, Green Hills Cemetery, Pinckard Vault and Marble, First National Bank of Brundidge, Golden Boy-Attune Food Group, Pete’s Package Store, Horn Beverage, Pee Wee’s Towing and Collision Specialist, Jim Thomas Attorney and Woodmen Life Chapter 16 and H&R Block in Eufaula.