Each year from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, you’ll spot The Salvation Army’s red kettles outside of grocery stores and shopping malls just about everywhere you go.

The kettle debuted in San Francisco in 1891 in the midst of a depression that had thrown many out of work. A Salvation Army officer put out a crab pot on the ferry landing to collect donations to feed those who were hungry on Christmas Day. Passerby dropped in coins and the campaign was born.

Now every year, about 25,000 bell ringers, young and old, brave the elements to help The Salvation Army raise money for local community programs. And yes, money given in your community stays in your community. Those gifts allow The Salvation Army to serve 23 million Americans a year.

And in Redding, California, Captain Timothy Danielson runs the local Salvation Army kettle campaign with 100 percent volunteer bell ringers. 

Last year, those volunteers gave 2,300 hours ringing the bell. Collectively, they raised more than $136,000—a 7 percent increase from 2017.

But as Danielson says, though critical for raising money to keep Salvation Army ministry going—the red kettle serves as a reminder to busy, Christmas passerby that hope exists.

Show highlights include:

  • What does Captain Timothy Danielson love most about Christmas? Increased willingness and reason to give.
  • Why did he become a Salvation Army officer? God told him to and wants to serve others in his name.
  • Captain Danielson is most passionate about serving people in Jesus’ name and fulfilling people’s different needs.
  • Behind-the-scenes: Running a Red Kettle Campaign takes all year long to prepare and plan a process that involves bell ringers, kettles, locations, stands and volunteers.

Good words from Captain Timothy Danielson in this show:

“We oversee a lot of services to individuals. A lot of help and hope to people who don’t have a lot.”

“When God tells you to do something, he’ll put in place those reasons and abilities for you to be there.” 

“It really is awesome to see the giving spirit of others in the community.”

Additional resources:

Download this episode wherever you get your podcasts. Find show notes for this episode and more at caringmagazine.org/podcast. Connect with Captain Timothy Danielson via The Salvation Army in Redding, California.

 
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