Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
December 24, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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December 24, 2014

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Dec.24, 2014 1B OPINI( i:!ii!i:iii ,, : ;=i Bell ringer John Sheehan, left, watches as Quincy resident Bruce Robinson stuffs a contribution into the Salvation Army kettle in front of Safeway. Sheehan took the bell,ringing shift after Scott Corey, far right, on a recent Saturday morning. Photo by Debra Moore Jim and Gloria Boland are the local coordinators for the Salvation Army kettle program. In addition to their organizational duties, the pair finds time to take a shift ringing bells. Photo by Marc Shipp Debra Moore Staff Writer oins; crumpled dollar bills; a crisp, folded $20 ... people push a variety of denominations into the red kettle's slot. But where does the money go? "I always give to the Salvation Army because I know that the money stays local," said one woman. "I give to the Salvation Army because they take the least amount for overhead," said a man as he stuffed a bill into the kettle. The Salvation Army bell ringers and their red kettles are a familiar sight during the holiday season. In larger areas volunteers begin ringing their bells the Monday before Thanksgiving and don't stop until Christmas Eve. They don't ring onSunday ........ Locally, the timeframe is more truncated, with bell ringers in place for select days from Dec. 1 through Dec. 20 in Quincy and through Dec, 23 in Portola. Jim and Gloria Boland coordinate the bell ringing in Quincy. This is their fourth year; they took over from longtime coordinator Ron Seibold. Even though it's time consuming to schedule ringers for a three-week period in three different locations -- Sav-Mor, Safeway and the post office -- they still find time to take a turn at bell ringing. "We love it; it's fun," Gloria said. "Most people have a great time; it's real social." The Bolands work in conjunction with The Resource Center in Quincy. Larger towns and cities have a Salvation Army presence, with an office and perhaps a work is centers. Gloria Boland Resource Center inQuincy, manager Leah Irons each kettle. By the end of the season,, for the year, The Salvation Army funds can provide gas for someone to drive to work or to a doctor's appointment; buy blankets or clothing; or provide other essential services. Michelle Peralta coordinates the effort in the city of See Kettle~s, page 13B The birth of the kettles The following is shared by the Salvation Army: In 1891, Salvation Army Capt. Joseph McFee was distraught because so many poor individuals in San Francisco were going hungry. During the holiday season, he resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner for the destitute and poverty-stricken. He only had one major hurdle to overcome -- funding the project. Where would the money come from? he wondered. He lay awake nights, worrying, thinking, praying about how he could find the funds to fulfill his commitment of feeding 1,000 of the city's poorest individuals on Christmas Day. As he ponderedthe issue, his thoughts drifted back to his sailor days in Liverpool, England. He remembered how at Stage Landing, where the boats came in, there was a large, iron kettle called "Simpson's Pot" into which passersby tossed a coin or two to help the poor. The next day McFee placed a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing at the foot of Market Street. Beside the pot, he placed a sign that read "Keep the Pot Boiling." He soon had the money to see that the needy people were properly fed at Christmas. Six years later, the kettle idea spread from the West Coast to the Boston area. That year, the combinedeffort nationwide resulted in 150,000 Christmas dinners for the needy. In 1901, kettle contributions in New York City provided funds for the first mammoth sit-down dinner in Madison Square Garden, a custom that continued for many years. Today in the U.S., the Salvation Army assists more than 4.5 million people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas time periods. McFee,s kettle idea launched a tradition that has spread not only throughoutthe United States, but all across the world. Kettles are now used in such distant lands as Korea, Japan, Chile and many European countries. Everywhere, public contributions to Salvation Army kettles enable the organization to continue its year-round efforts at helping those who would otherwise be forgotten. MITH