The history behind the red kettle and bell ringing, and how you can still help the Salvation Army this season.
Picture: Arizona Rangers ring the bell at Walmart in Taylor.
The red kettle started in 1891 in San Francisco all because the Salvation Army officer there was trying to feed 1,000 people in his soup kitchen, so he put out a kettle where the ships came in and sailors put money in the pot. That’s when Captain Joseph McFee came up with the ingenious idea to use a red crab pot to collect donations. Next to it, he placed a sign that read, “Keep the Pot Boiling.” He raised the money to feed people in need at Christmas and the iconic red kettle was born.
The bell tradition began in 1900 with a teenage volunteer in New York City named Amelia Kunkel. She was apparently frustrated by the many bankers on Wall Street who walked by and ignored her. Kunkel went to a nearby Woolworth’s department store and bought a small bell for ten cents. The rest is history.
The true mark of Christmas is the sound of the Salvation Army bells ringing as shoppers walk into local stores.
How you can help.
When your out Christmas shopping, don’t forget to put a couple dollars into the red kettle and tell the ringer thank you for standing in the freezing cold, trying to make someone’s life a little better.
You can donate online at: https://give-sw.salvationarmy.org/campaign/the-salvation-army-white-mountain-i-red-kettles-2023/c520786
You can also register to be a Salvation Army bell ringer at: https://registertoring.com/
You can also call Maria Quinteros, White Mountain Salvation Army Outpost (928) 368-9953 or email
Mountain Daily Star Staff-Merry Christmas