Nation’s Longest Running Fundraiser Celebrates 123rd Year

CLEARWATER, FL (November 14, 2013) — From its humble beginnings as a Salvation Army Captain’s startup program in 1891 in San Francisco, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States. It provides toys for kids, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry and countless social service programs year-round. As part of the campaign, more than 25,000 Salvation Army volunteers throughout the country ring bells and solicit donations to the red kettles.

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]“When you answer the ringing bell, you’re responding to the cries for help in our community,” says Captain Zach Bell[/quote]

“When you answer the ringing bell, you’re responding to the cries for help in our community,” says Captain Zach Bell, Commanding Officer for The Salvation Army in Upper Pinellas County. “The donations we receive during the holiday season help us provide programs and services all year long. This year, during our busiest season, we are faced with one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas than in years past. We need the community’s support now more than ever to help make up for the loss we expect to experience, so that we can continue to help those that come to us in need,” says Bell.

The local campaign for Upper Pinellas County will launch in most of its locations on November 15, with the remainder of the kettles arriving the day after Thanksgiving. The iconic red kettles can be found at most Publix, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Walgreens locations, as well as select stores at Countryside Mall.

Due to the shortened amount of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, people will be able to help ring a virtual bell by donating to an Online Red Kettle. Funds raised both at the storefront kettles and online kettle will stay in Upper Pinellas County to help those in need in our community.

To help make up for the expected financial loss, please visit for information on becoming a volunteer bellringer or how to support the Online Red Kettle.

The Salvation Army Brass Band from Clearwater will host a red kettle inside Countryside Mall on December 7 and December 21 from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. All are invited to stop by and enjoy the sounds of the season.

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About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to


About The Salvation Army of Clearwater/Upper Pinellas County

Last year, The Salvation Army of Clearwater/Upper Pinellas County served 51,609 individuals through a wide variety of programs and services, including utilities, housing, and food assistance. We visited 9,057 people in hospitals, nursing homes and elderly residential homes to let them know that their community cares for them. We served 26,798 people during the holiday season, many through our Joy Center Toyland program which provides toys and clothing for children who may otherwise go without at Christmas. Our wonderful volunteers gave 15,570 hours of their time to help us serve their neighbors in need. In addition to the programs already mentioned, The Salvation Army continues doing the most good for Upper Pinellas County through youth character-building activities, summer camp, outreach, and various other programs. For more information on how you can get involved, please visit

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