CONTACT US

Thank you for making the generous decision to become a Salvation Army Red Kettle Bell Ringer. As a volunteer, you are participating in one of the oldest and most influential fundraisers in history!

If you have any additional questions, or require assistance to submit register, please email answers@use.salvationarmy.org.

Salvation Army Talking Points

Often, our Red Kettle Volunteers receive questions from the public, of which examples and helpful answers are provided below:


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1. What kind of organization is The Salvation Army?

The Salvation Army has been doing the most good for over 150 years! It provides to families and individuals in times of a disaster, provides food to the hungry, gives back the holidays to those in need, and so much more…always ready to lift up needy neighbors and help them relieve their suffering in the name of God.


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2. Where does the money raised in the Red Kettles go, and how is it used?

All money raised in the kettles will be used for social service activities in the local community. One hour of Bell Ringing, on average, will shelter a homeless person for one night and provide them three meals.


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3. What types of services does The Salvation Army offer?

Christmas services include toys for needy children, meals for individuals and families, as well as warm clothing and housing services for those struggling in the winter season. Throughout the year, that same local Salvation Army provides specific programs to aid the poor and needy such as food, emergency and transitional shelter, job training, financial assistance, day care and after school care, youth recreation and development programs. In some larger communities, the services are far more complex, and will include rehabilitation centers and hospice care for AIDS victims and their families.


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4. It seems that The Salvation Army has avoided much of the criticism (high overhead, wasted/poorly distributed resources, etc.) that many major charities have faced in recent years. How has it managed to do this?

We have 131 years of experience in decentralized decision-making that allows our local officers decide how best to serve the needs of their specific communities and individuals in those communities. We must be good stewards of all of the money that we raise. That is why the Army has one of the lowest overheads of any charitable organization in the world – 82 cents of every dollar collected is used to support our programs, one of the ways we try to live up to our promise to "do the most good".


Red Kettle Campaign Talking Points

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1. Who can volunteer to help with the Red Kettle campaign?

Nearly anyone! Individuals; Groups (corporate, church, school, university, civic, work, neighborhood); Friends; Children (with adult supervision). We do not allow people to volunteer for us who have certain legal convictions or have been identified by police/law as a threat to children.


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2. How does the process of signing up work?

Once you have signed up online, a contact person with the local Salvation Army office will be in contact with you and will outline the procedures. Remember that in most cases our bell ringing term begins close to Thanksgiving Day and ends on Christmas Eve. We do not ring bells on Sundays.


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3. Who do I contact if there is a problem with the Kettle?

On the signup page you will see contact information for your closest Salvation Army Red Kettle Director. Contact them for any problems, questions, or changes with your Red Kettle.


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4. What time do I arrive in advance of my appointment?

Please be on site ready to ring bells at least 15 minutes prior to your assigned time.


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5. Is there a dress code for the times when I am Ringing the Bell?

Be clean, presentable, and dressed in a manner consistent with The Salvation Army values and standards. Clothing should not have offensive or controversial language, images, etc. Many locations will have a requirement to wear a provided red apron that has The Salvation Army printed on it, or wear another type of garment (jacket) that says you are an official bell ringer for The Salvation Army.


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6. Can my time Ringing the Bell count towards Community Service?

The Salvation Army is happy to recruit volunteers who are serving their community through Community Service. Hours served will be counted towards their goal.


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7. Can I sign up a group of people?

If you represent a community group or corporate office, your local bell ringer contact will want to speak with you prior to arranging for group participation. We are flexible, but also want to give you and your group the best possible experience.


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8. Why is the Red Kettle campaign so important?

The Red Kettle Campaign is most important to the people we serve. More than 6 million individuals are served every year during the Christmas season and more than 32 million people are served by The Salvation Army on an annual basis. The money raised during Christmas certainly helps the most needy in those communities where we serve, not only at Christmas but throughout the year.


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9. How many bell ringers do you have?

We’re asked that question frequently. I’m not sure we’ll ever have an exact answer as it has so many local variables. We have attempted to estimate the number of bell ringers we have on the streets at a peak period of time and the closest number we’ve come up with is about 25,000. That’s 25,000 bells all ringing at the same time and with the same purpose – to do the most good for the most people with the most need!


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10. What’s the value of a Kettle?

One hour of Bell Ringing, on average, will shelter a homeless person for one night and provide them three meals.


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11. What are you doing here?

I’m Bell Ringing for The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign is one of the oldest fundraising efforts in the United States!


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12. How much does the Red Kettle Campaign raise?

In 2016, the Red Kettle Campaign raised $147.3 million for communities throughout the United Sates.


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13. How will my donation be used?

All money raised in the kettles will be used for social service activities in the local community.