Salvation Army bell-ringing is back

Aine Heron, Staff Writer

Every holiday season, crowds are greeted as they cross local grocery stores, malls and street corners with volunteers ringing silver bells and shining red buckets. Those responsible for these cheerful bells are the annual Salvation Army volunteers who dedicate their time to the organization’s Red-Kettle Campaign. From November to early December, over five million volunteers across the nation camp outside their local area to collect money for the organization’s meaningful winter-time funding tradition.

Although many can recognize these bells and connect it to The Salvation Army, not many are familiar with the heart-warming history of the Red-Kettle Campaign. 


Joseph McFee originally started the organization in 1891, after seeing the horrifying numbers of people starving in California. He knew something needed to be done and subsequently crafted the brilliant idea of supplying Christmas meals to his community – funded through donations. He put out his first fundraising buckets in San Diego, California and the tradition has been growing ever since.

With the funds collected, the organization supplies those in need with clothes, food and toys to spread holiday cheer. Although the time frame for collecting donations is short, the Salvation Army has made up to $126 million to supply meals to those in need.


This past year was a struggle for the foundation as they experienced less donations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However this year they plan to make their comeback. During the 2020-2021 seasons, the organization added an online payment as an option for making up losses of donations. However in 2022, as normalcy returns to the world, this could lead to surplus donations.


The cheerful spirit of the Salvation Army continues passing onto communities. Families are able to enjoy the holiday season while giving back to the world. Any size donation can make a difference!