Column: Meet red kettle


Commentary by Jon Quick

Soon you’ll again hear his ringing from blocks away. He’s been an American icon for over 125 years. He’s a holiday fixture in Carmel, Indianapolis, and cities from coast-to-coast and around the world.  He’s been a star in dozens of holiday classics on radio, TV and film.

His name is Red Kettle.

There are still a lot of people that think that the Kettles are all that the Savation Army is about.  They are really only a small part of it.  But the results of the annual Kettle campaign is amazing.  The money raised during the holiday season funds, in part, the activities of the Army all year long – both here and around the world.

Honestly, I cannot pass by a Kettle without feeding him a few coins. I love the sound of the clang. It’s one of my good addictions.

I now do something else when I pass by a Kettle.  I introduce myself to the bell-ringer next to the Kettle and I say “Thanks for your service.”  Many times the volunteer is a person that has been down and totally out, and now they express thanks for the blessing of rehabilitation and care at one of the Salvation Army facilities around the metro area.  I am amazed and gratified at the stories these wonderful folks freely tell me.  They often shed tears and say “If not for the Army, I wouldn’t be here.”  Then there’s a handshake if not a hug.

If you want to brighten your day, try it.  Be thankful for the Kettles.  Any one of us could one day have a need. The Kettles raise millions for Salvation Army programs that provide food, shelter, rehabilitation, disaster relief, and much more for people and families in crisis.

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