Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Influence Central for The Salvation Army. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
The holiday season more than ever is a time of giving. It’s a time to remember how blessed we are and to give back whenever you can. There are so many ways that you can give back to those around you. You can volunteer, cook meals for those in need, create care packages and adopt families so they can have a happy holiday. For my family and I we like to spread the love as much as possible. We donate throughout the year and especially during the holiday season to families in need and almost every single time we’re walking out of the store after doing our Christmas shopping we drop some money into the iconic Salvation Army Red Kettle.
For me, nothing says holiday shopping quite like that Red Kettle outside stores, ringing the bell reminding us that this is the season of giving.The Salvation Army was established in London in 1865 and has been helping people all over the world for 150 years, they’ve been in the US for a little more than 130.
Salvation Army Gives Back
In 2013 alone The Salvation Army served nearly 30 million Americans in need. They:
- Served more than 58 million meals to the needy.
- 204,000 people received rehabilitation services through donations to Family Stores
- Over 203,000 underprivileged children attended day care and summer day camps.
- The Army provided nearly 10 million nights of shelter.
- 324,000 people received help during times of disaster.
- More than 4 million families and children were served during the holidays.
- More than 1.8 million people received help through senior, medical and institutional services
And here’s ones of the coolest parts, all the donations remain in the communities they originated in. So when you donate to The Salvation Army you’re directly helping those in your community who are in need!
Why the Red Kettle?
The Red Kettle originated right here in the United States in 1891 by The Salvation Army’s Captain McFee. He wanted a way to feed the area’s poor a Christmas meal. It was then that he remembered his days as a Sailor in Liverpool, England where they used to have a large part to collect donations from passerbys where the boats came in. Four short years later the kettle was used in 30 Salvation Army locations in the West Coast Area. When William A. McIntyre and N.J. Lewis were transferred to the East Coast they took the idea of the Red Kettle with them.
Now Red Kettle donations are used to help provide shelters, after school programs, addiction recovery programs, summer camps, disaster assistance and many other social services.
You can find Red Kettles all over the world as well as online!
This year marks the 124th National Red Kettle campaign! How amazing is that?! This year The Salvation Army encourages you to share your reason for giving using the #RedKettleReason hashtag. One of the reasons I love the Red Kettle Campaign is it’s a very tangible way for my children to give back. I can hand them money and they willingly put it in the kettle.
Teaching your kids what giving back means can be so hard especially when they’re so excited for all the blessings in their life and the things they’ll receive. It’s such a great way to bring up the topic of giving back and WHY we give back which is quite simple, because everyone deserves to be just as blessed as we are. This year I even used it as a way to encourage more giving.
“Remember how you were able to put some money into the Red Kettle to help others in need? Another great way to help is….”
- Creating Care Packages for the Homeless
- Donating Your Toys to a Salvation Army Store
- Donating in good condition clothes
- Adopting a Family to Help Give them a Merry Christmas
Your children can help with all of these acts of kindness!
What’s Your Red Kettle Reason?