It's been 122 years since Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee started what would become the organization's Red Kettle drive.
Then, McFee had a concern - wanting to feed 1,000 families in the San Francisco area during the holiday season. He remembered back to his Liverpool, England, days when a large iron kettle was situated along the port where boats would dock. Passers-by would toss coins into the pot as a way to help the poor.
He opted to try the same that year, in 1891, in the American city at the Oakland Ferry Landing. He placed a pot alongside a sign that read "Keep the Pot Boiling." He soon had enough to feed those families in need of a meal.
Today, that idea has grown into a program that aids some 30 million people each holiday season.
Locally, we are fortunate to have our own Salvation Army, situated along East Fourth Street in downtown East Liverpool.
There are many in need, in our area, and the Red Kettle campaign is a way for us to help our own. Simply tossing some spare change into the pot can make the difference; provide a meal to a local person.
Red Kettle locations
Newell Toll Bridge
EL Dairy Queen
Maxi's Lunch Box
Calcutta Giant Eagle
EL Giant Eagle
In this, the busiest of seasons, we ask that you take a few moments to think about the importance of that handful of change. The Red Kettle campaign is a key financial element to our local chapter - the biggest and most important fundraiser of the year.
The goal, locally, in 2013, is $35,000. We ask that you contribute. Every little bit counts, and adds up.
So when you see that volunteer "ringing the bell," please consider those in need this holiday season. Donate. Keep it local.