Salvation Army Austin Red Kettles
Ring a Bell and/or Give!

Ring a bell at The Salvation Army red kettle
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You can help a lot of people simply by being a bell ringer. Every day people come to The Salvation Army for assistance in meeting the emergencies of life. By bell ringing at a Salvation Army Red Kettle, you can help raise the funds to provide these necessary services at Christmas and throughout the year. All donations stay right here in Travis and Williamson Counties, which makes us simply neighbors helping neighbors ~ 365 days a year.

  • Encourage “Red Kettle Days” for your business, civic organization, church or neighborhood and make a difference in the lives of real people in our community.
  • If you are a musician and/or singer, we also have opportunities for Musicians at the Kettles to perform at our Red Kettle at the Domain. Please see below for more information.
  • Read Wayne’s Story about his experience with The Salvation Army and get inspired to sign up to ring a bell in Round Rock and give back to your community.

Volunteer Bell Ringer
Click below for locations and sign-up:

If you are interested in volunteering as a bell ringer, click the button below or email Donna.Clendennen@USS.SalvationArmy.org.  Register now to have the best fun volunteering in Travis and Williamson counties this Christmas.

Rock The Red Kettle ATX is an effort benefiting The Salvation Army,  spearheaded by Austin’s own Texas country music artist, Cory Morrow, to enlist artists of all genres that make Austin the Live Music Capital of the World to help raise money to give those who need it the most a helping hand this Christmas season. The Salvation Army is asking artists to donate 60 minutes of their time to perform next to one of the Army’s ubiquitous Red Kettles and to promote their performance on social media to get as many of their fans as possible to participate.

Performance slots are available Monday through Saturday from 10am to 2pm at The Domain Christmas Tree near Macy’s.  Check back with us early Fall 2019 for a schedule of available times and to sign up to perform at a Red Kettle at The Domain!

Musician Performance Availability Schedule

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History of the Salvation Army Red Kettle

In 1891, Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee was distraught because so many poor individuals in San Francisco were going hungry. During the holiday season, he resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner for the destitute and poverty-stricken. He only had one major hurdle to overcome – funding the project.

Where would the money come from, he wondered. As he went about his daily tasks, the question stayed in his mind: How he could find the funds to fulfill his commitment of feeding 1,000 of the city’s poorest individuals on Christmas Day.

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 passersby tossed a coin or two to help the poor.

The next day Captain McFee placed a similar 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 soon had the money to see that the needy people were properly fed at Christmas.

Six years later, the kettle idea spread from the west coast to the Boston area. That year, the combined effort nationwide resulted in 150,000 Christmas dinners for the needy. In 1901, kettle contributions in New York City provided funds for the first mammoth sit-down dinner in Madison Square Garden, a custom that continued for many years. Today in the U.S., The Salvation Army assists millions of people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas time periods.

Captain McFee’s kettle idea launched a tradition that has spread not only throughout the United States, but all across the world. Kettles are now used in such distant lands as Korea, Japan, Chile and many European countries. Everywhere, public contributions to Salvation Army kettles enable the organization to continue its year-round efforts at helping those who would otherwise be forgotten.

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