Red Kettle Campaign Kicks Off Today

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From a tradition that dates back to 1891, members of the Hillsboro Ministerial Alliance are kicking off the Salvation Army Tree of Lights Red Kettle Campaign that begins Wednesday, Nov. 27, and continues until Christmas.

Bell ringers will be spreading Christmas cheer and asking for donations into the iconic red kettle at Capri IGA in Hillsboro and the new Dollar General in Schram City on Nov. 27-29, and Dec. 5-8, 12-15, and 19-22.  Times are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, and from 1-4 p.m. on Sundays.

"This year, we hope to surpass last years total of $7,200," according to Red Kettle Campaign organizer Don Hudelson.  "The Salvation Army is in Montgomery County year round providing temporary, emergency assistance to those in need."

The Red Kettle Campaign dates back to 1891, when Captain Joseph McFee of the Salvation Army's San Francisco command had made a commitment to feed 1000 of the city's poorest, but had no money to provide the food.

Taking his inspiration from "Simpson's Pot," a huge stewing kettle used in England in which passers by could toss a coin or two to help the poor, McFee set up his kettle at the Oakland Ferry landing with a sign that read, "Keep the pot boiling."  He soon had the money necessary to properly feed the needy at Christmas, and a tradition that has spread throughout the world was born.

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