You are in: about us » Origin of the Christmas Kettle

Origin of the Christmas Kettle

Send this page to a friend Email envolope




About Us - Origin of the Christmas Kettle

The tradition of Salvation Army kettles began in San Francisco in 1891 with Captain Joseph McFee. Captain McFee was looking for a way to help provide meals to families in need and recalled "Simpson's pot" - a large pot used in Liverpool, England into which passers-by threw charitable donations. Captain McFee decided to place a similar pot at the Oakland ferry landing. By strategically placing the kettle, he was able to attract donations from those going to and from the ferry boats. Not long after, a smaller urn was placed in the waiting area as well.

Now, over 100 years have passed and instead of providing just a simple Christmas dinner, the money raised at kettles is also used to provide clothing, shelter, toys, financial assistance and counseling year-round. The Salvation Army's holiday fund-raising activities play a crucial role in sharing the spirit of the season with families in need. The Salvation Army does its best to ensure that no family goes without food, no child is without presents under the tree and that Christmas is a time of hope and healing.

The Salvation Army continues its mission to "preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in His name without discrimination" year-round.


Print version


Enter your search terms below and hit the 'go' button

Site Map Site Map

Quick Links

Find a Center

Enter your zip code to find your nearest Salvation Army




January, 2015
    01 02 03
04 05 06 07 08 09 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Email Newsletters

Subscribe to our email newsletters.


spiritual information