December marks the ringing of the bells for the Salvation Army and signifies the start of the Holiday season for most around the country. With the bells also comes the red kettles and countless volunteers standing in the cold for the sake of others. For the past 125 years, shoppers have passed the red kettle dropping change into the bucket for the Salvation Army to use in funding programs that provide food, shelter, disaster relief, and more to families in need. Despite its popularity, the kettle hasn’t always been red.
In 1891, Captain Joseph McFee of The Salvation Army in San Francisco, California decided to use a brass urn with a sign that read “Keep the Pot Boiling” to entice his community to donate to a project he created to feed 1,000 of the city’s poor. The idea grew from there and became what it is today, a charity program that nets on average $30.00 per hour. According to SalvationArmyNorth.org just two hours is enough to provide a weeks work of groceries for a family of four.
Thousands of hours each year are donated to the red kettle and bell ringing tradition and students at Westwood Elementary in Junction City are joining the years old event. Third and Fourth Graders from the school will be in front of Dillons in Junction City from December 11, 2017, to December 15, 2017. If you happen to be in the area and have the means to do so, stop by and donate your spare change to a great cause with a lot of history.