The Salvation Army Prepares to Launch Annual Red Kettle Campaign

The Salvation Army is preparing to launch its annual Red Kettle campaign for Christmas 2012, displaying the iconic Red Kettles at stores and businesses across Hampton Roads from November 8 through December 24.

During the Christmas 2011 Red Kettle campaign, bell ringers across the country raised a record $147.6 million for The Salvation Army. In Hampton Roads, more than $391,700.00 was dropped in the kettles from early-November through Christmas Eve in support of The Salvation Army’s local programs and services.

“This year it is more important than ever that we remember our neighbors in need as we pass by the Red Kettle,” said Captain Brett Meredith of The Salvation Army. “We cannot continue to provide services at the level we have been providing them without your help.”

Volunteer support is crucial to the campaign’s success. The Salvation Army often has to pay individuals to ring bells at the kettles. When a volunteer rings a bell, 88 cents of every dollar dropped in a kettle is used to serve those in need.

“We want volunteers to serve at Red Kettle locations all over the area and we appreciate our local partners who invite us to ring year after year,” said Captain Meredith.

Those interested in <a href="volunteering can visit to select a date, time and location and sign-up online.

The Salvation Army will also offer a mobile giving opportunity. The mobile component gives mobile users the ability to donate $5 via their mobile bill by texting SALHR to 80888 to and responding to the confirmation message with the word YES. Standard message and data rates may apply.

Funds raised in the early part of the Red Kettle campaign will assist in supporting The Salvation Army’s re-established Thanksgiving Day community meal. The Thanksgiving Day community meal will be served from 10 AM to 1 PM at three locations, The Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps (2306 Airline Boulevard, Portsmouth), The Salvation Army Men’s Hope Center (203 West 19th Street, Norfolk), and The Salvation Army Norfolk Corps (5516 Raby Road, Norfolk). A thanksgiving meal will also be served from the mobile kitchen at locations in Virginia Beach and Portsmouth.

The Red Kettle campaign began in 1891 when a Salvation Army officer set up a large pot at the foot of Market St. in San Francisco, CA to collect money for the poor, by 1895 the campaign had spread to 30 cities across the country. The Salvation Army has been serving Hampton Roads since 1905.