280. Salvation Army Red Kettle Ringers Return to Barrington

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A holiday tradition that dates back to 1891 has returned to Barrington and, if you’ve been to Jewel-Osco lately, you’ve probably heard those bells a-ringing.

Douglas Powell is one of many bell ringers you’ll find this year manning Salvation Army Red Kettle stations and collecting donations outside the Barrington Jewel.  “The people I meet here at Jewel are nice.  They understand that I’m helping others out and it’s a cause I feel good about being part of.”

The Red Kettle campaign first started in San Francisco in 1891, when a Salvation Army officer started collecting donations in a pot to provide a free Christmas dinner to families living in poverty. Today, Red Kettle donations fund Salvation Army efforts to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and provide educational opportunities for children.

And here’s an interesting bit of trivia… Did you know the tradition of anonymous donors dropping gold coins into these kettles started in our neighboring suburb, Crystal lake? That’s right, the first reported Salvation Army gold coin donation happened in Crystal Lake back in 1982.

Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from the Salvation Army each year.  If you feel so inspired, you can now help the cause by hosting your own Online Red Kettle to help neighbors in need by collecting donations through email and social networking. For more information, visit SalArmyChicago.org.

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