Salvation Army Albuquerque is recruiting bell ringers for the 2022 holiday season to help raise money for its life-changing programs.
Donations go toward family services, adult rehabilitation, emergency disaster services and more. The organization’s website encourages people to volunteer by using a 1919 quote by Evangeline Booth: “There is no reward equal to that of doing the most good to the most people in the most need.”
For those who think they are too busy to help, the Salvation Army reminds everyone that, “Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time, they simply have the heart.” Volunteer opportunities include ringing the bell at a Red Kettle, distributing food bags and sorting canned goods through its family services program and volunteering locally or as a group for their Christmas campaign.
This year’s Red Kettle goal for Albuquerque is to raise $5,000. As of Wednesday evening, $596 had been donated toward the campaign. Donations can be taken in person by dropping money in the Red Kettle wherever Salvation Army volunteers are stationed, or online through the Salvation Army Albuquerque website.
To learn more about volunteering for the Red Kettle campaign, email Major Raewyn Aspeitia at Raewyn.Aspeitia@usw.salvationarmy.org.
History of the Red Kettle
The Red Kettle campaign is one of the Salvation Army’s biggest fundraisers and has been around for more than 130 years. According to the Salvation Army website, the Red Kettle campaign began in 1891, when Salvation Army Capt. Joseph McFee decided to do something to help the destitute in San Francisco.
McFee’s goal was to feed 1,000 of the city’s poorest individuals on Christmas. He recalled his days as a sailor in Liverpool, England, where a large iron kettle was placed on the docks for people to toss coins in to help those in need. The pot, known as Simpson’s Pot, became better known as the Red Kettle when McFee placed a large pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing with a sign on it that read “Keep the Pot Boiling.”
McFee not only raised enough money to feed 1,000 individuals on Christmas 1891, but he spurred a movement that would help to feed millions of impoverished Americans across the country. Just six years after the Red Kettle was placed at the Oakland landing, enough money was raised to provide 150,000 Christmas dinners nationwide. The Salvation Army says it now assists more than 4.5 million people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.
There are many ways to give to the Salvation Army
Salvation Army Albuquerque lists eight different ways to give, including making a monthly donation, being a bell ringer, volunteering, providing estate gifts, donating major gifts, memorial giving and through tribute gifts of hope.
According to the Salvation Army website, “A ‘Gift of Hope’ brings compassionate care to the hungry and the hurting, puts food on the table for the parent choosing between groceries and rent, and relief and comfort to seniors whose fixed income fails to cover the bare necessities.”
The site says they provide a “safe and secure online form” when donating and a printable receipt made available for tax purposes. There are five Salvation Army locations in Albuquerque, with its northeast location at 4301 Bryn Mawr Drive providing worship services.
The Salvation Army also accepts food, furniture and other donations at various locations.
Turning converts to salvationists
The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization founded by William Booth. Booth was a Methodist minister in England who set up mission stations in 1878 to feed and house the poor. Booth created his Christian army by turning converts into salvationists and soldiers of Christ. Through violence and persecution, Booth’s army converted more than 250,000 Christians throughout the British Isles between 1881 and 1885.
The American Salvation Army was established in 1884 and maintained its independence from Booth. Today, the Salvation Army is active in more than 100 countries around the world and continues to spread Christian messages while helping those in need.
To learn more about the history of the Salvation Army, visit the British Heritage website.