Salvation Army Red Kettles: 5 things to know

By Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Salvation Army bell ringers are already out and working in Grayson County as part of the organization's Rescue Christmas Campaign

There are few sounds so associated with a holiday as bells are with Christmas. Sometimes we hear church bells calling people to services other times, we hear the bells playing carols. One of the most recognized sounds is that of Salvation Army bells ringing in the holiday to support those who are in need.

This year, those bell ringers are already out in Grayson County and here at five things to know about them and the cause they support.

1.Salvation Red Kettles are an old tradition.

Information on the Salvation Army's national website said that the tradition is 130 years old. Not only that, but it is a tradition that is followed in countries all around the world during the holiday season. 

2. It is a great way to help give back to the community

The bell ringing experience is a great way to bring together family or friends and give something back to the community. The bell ringers are in charge of more than just accepting donations. They are there to share the spirit of the season by wishing people a "Merry Christmas" or just a "Have a great day." And they are there to show that there are still people who care about others in the community.

3. No need to dig for change.

In the past, many people used their spare change to drop into the kettle. In a world where spare change is becoming less and less common, the Salvation Army has done its best to keep up with the changing times. The kettles now accept Apple Pay and Google Pay right there at the kettle site.

4. No need to find a kettle to donate.

In a year when a lot of people might be doing their shopping from their home, the Salvation Army makes it just as easy to share the spirit of the season online as well.

"They can just go to Salvation Army Sherman. org and make a donation," said Salvation Army Major Tex Ellis in a recent interview.

5. You can even make a game of it.

Ellis said it is possible for people to set up their own digital red kettle online and challenge friends and family members to do the same. They could have a race to see who is the first to get a certain amount in donations or to see who can raise the most money the quickest. Either way, the fun is all online and no one has to stand out in the cold or take time off from other activities to help.