Rich history drives red kettle campaigns
It's as familiar as your favorite Christmas carol or ornament on the tree. The Salvation Army Red Kettles and their accompanying bell ringers have been a long-time fund raiser for the organization.
The Hastings Salvation Army "rings bells" at five locations during the Christmas season, creating a need for up to 50 volunteers a day.
Major Dale Brandenburg says the tradition has been around for over a century.
"About 129 years ago now, it started over in London," said Brandenburg. "A Salvation Army officer was putting together a community soup drive. He had big kettles, big cooking stoves, right out in front of the church. Somebody walked by and threw money in it."
And the rest is history.
Branderburg says all money raised in the red kettle campaign is used by their social services office.
The Hastings location is about $30-thousand below their goal right now with 13 days left until they stop on Christmas Eve.
Anyone that would like to volunteer for a shift of bell ring can