Salvation Army Bell Ringing
Each year, Zonta Club of Lockport, New York, Inc.
donates one day to man the kettles for bell ringing at
Top's Supermarket on 5827 South Transit Road in Lockport to benefit:
Red Kettle History
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.
He lay awake nights, worrying, thinking, praying about 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 passers-by 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 more than four-and-a-half million
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.