Tis the Season. Beginning this first week of December, Salvation Army bell ringers will set up Their Red Kettles on street corners and in malls across the Panhandle hoping to collect more than $100 million in coins and small bills. But how did it all get started?

Since its beginnings in San Francisco in 1891, the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign has become one A tradition on the "kettle" started in 1891, in San Francisco, by Salvation Army officer Captain Joseph McFee. Captain McFee, resolving to provide a free Christmas dinner to the poor of San Francisco, remembered a sight he saw in Liverpool, England. Of the most visible community holiday fundraisers nationwide.

Money raised from the kettles goes to the charity's Christmas Program, which provides food relief and toys for families in need during the holidays.

Remaining funds support Salvation Army's ongoing winter assistance program, which helps low-income families pay for their utilities, rent and prescriptions.

Paid bell ringers are available to ring the bells during work and school hours.

Often times they are former clients of the nonprofit who need the pay.

Over the year’s donors have dropped five gold rings, gold teeth, gold coins and even checks for as much as Five Hundred Thousand Dollars.

Bottom line, all donations go to help local Panhandle Families that are less fortunate that we are.

When you see the Red Kettle outside the supermarket or in the shopping center, think about what that cup of coffee price could mean to someone in need this Christmas.

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