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Online red kettles back for holidays

Join other virtual bell ringers at OnlineRedKettle.com.

by Georgia Tzanidis

Ring, ring, ring!

The familiar sound of bells ringing alongside the famous red kettles is a holiday tradition outside storefronts and on sidewalks this time of year. But you can also be a bell ringer without standing in the cold, from the comfort of your home. In addition to the traditional red kettle stands that appear at Christmas time to raise money for The Salvation Army, do-gooders can join the fundraising effort on their computers. When you visit www.onlineredkettle.com this holiday season, you can become a “virtual” bell ringer by registering to host a red kettle online.

The website gives you the option to host your own personal kettle, which allows you to customize your red kettle page and email friends and family to make donations to your kettle via a secure online donation process. Team kettles are an ideal option for groups who want to host a kettle as a team—for example, church or civic groups. A team kettle allows individual team members to still host their own personal kettles while contributing to the team’s fundraising goals. A third option is for companies to host a kettle using a link to their company kettle page via a web link posted on their own Internet website or by sending email blasts to employees, vendors, and customers.

Whichever option you choose, as you watch your online kettle fill with donations you will be satisfied knowing that you are helping those in need and doing the most good. Online Red Kettle even has an application that allows you to link your kettle page to a Facebook page—thus increasing your kettle’s visibility to donors.

Something new in 2010 is the Online Red Kettle Pre-Game Contest, which runs through November 21, 2010. The contest offers the chance for a personal kettle host to win an expense-paid trip for two to the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game, featuring a half time performance by country rock musician Keith Urban. Participants will compete to raise donations for The Salvation Army via www.onlineredkettle.com. The winner will be the person who raises the most in their individual “virtual kettle” by the cut-off date of November 21.

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