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The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign has become an integral part of the Christmas season for many people around the world, and especially here in Central Iowa. It all began in 1891 with Captain Joseph McFee who was searching for a way to provide funds for a Christmas dinner for the poor in San Francisco. He remembered back to his earlier days as a sailor in Liverpool, England. At the stage landing where the boats came in there was a large iron kettle called "Simpson's Pot" where passersby would toss in a coin or two to help the poor. He placed a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing and placed a sign. He soon had enough money to see that the needy people were properly fed that Christmas. Six years later, the kettle idea spread to Boston, Massachusetts, and that year 150,000 dinners for the needy were provided thanks to the kettles. Today, The Salvation Army assists 6,000,000 people in the United States during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons thanks to the red kettles.

Here in Des Moines we have over 60 kettles around the metro to collect donations. Our Red Kettle funds account for over half of our budget for the year. With the donations we are able to feed our neighbors, provide help with utilities, rent, transportation, and assist new parents with formula and diapers. Your donations in the red kettles stay here in Central Iowa to help the neighbors all around you, not just at Christmas, but all year round.