COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Salvation Army Annual Red Kettle Campaign will soon be underway across the city and the country.

Starting Friday, Nov. 12, Red Kettles will begin appearing at local stores.

Organizers say the money put into the Red Kettles stays here in our community to help fund programs for those in need all year long. By Thanksgiving, The Salvation army expects to have Red Kettles at all of their usual locations.

In the past, Red Kettles have set up in front of Walmart, Sam’s Club, Bass Pro Shop, Big Lots, and similar locations.

FILE – A Salvation Army bell is rung by Michael Cronin as he staffs the charity’s red donation kettle in front of a grocery store, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Lynden, Wash. In the wake of the most devastating public-health emergency in a century and the resulting economic uncertainty, Americans provided more charitable dollars to United Way Worldwide than any other nonprofit focused on direct aid, followed by the Salvation Army and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, according to new rankings by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

History of the Red Kettles

The Red Kettles got their start in 1891 thanks to Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee. Captain McFee became increasingly aware of the large number of people in San Francisco who were going hungry and decided he would host a free Christmas dinner for the destitute and poverty-stricken.

However, there was a problem: where would the money come from?

“As he pondered the issue, his thoughts drifted back to his sailor days in Liverpool, England. He remembered how at Stage Landing, where the boats came in, there was a large, iron kettle called “Simpson’s Pot” into which passers-by tossed a coin or two to help the poor.”


Story goes, the next day Captain McFee placed a pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing at the foot of Market Street. Beside the pot, he placed a sign that read, “Keep the Pot Boiling.” He quickly had enough money to feed his in-need neighbors at Christmas.

Today in the U.S., The Salvation Army assists more than four-and-a-half million people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas time periods.