Salvation Army begins Christmas season ministries

With the start of the holiday season, the Salvation Army is beginning their Christmas ministries, the Red Kettle and Angel Tree.

“The Salvation Army endeavors to bring spiritual light and love to those it serves at Christmas so that the real meaning of the season is not forgotten.”

The Red Kettle ministry began in 1891 in San Francisco with Army Captain Joseph McFee who saw the needy residents of San Francisco who would be going without a Christmas dinner.

Wanting to help provide a Christmas dinner for these individuals, he came up with the idea to place a kettle pot at the Oakland dock to raise the funds to create the dinners.

Through his kettle pot, McFee fed 1,000 needy citizens of San Francisco. With the success of his kettle, the idea spread throughout the country and has now become a yearly tradition.

The Susanville branch of the Salvation Army will be putting up their kettles on Nov. 25 and will continue to collect funds until Dec. 24.

The Red Kettles that are a common site at any grocery store during the Christmas Season allows the Salvation Army to provide full Christmas dinners to people in need across the nation. The amazing outcome of millions of people tossing a few coins into the kettle goes to show how easy it is to change someone’s Christmas.

The other well-known ministry provided by the Salvation Army is the Angel Tree. The Angel Tree program is a way to collect gifts to assist families that are in crisis and do not have the resources to celebrate Christmas.

In order to get around this dilemma, tags with wish lists from children in these families are hung up on Christmas trees as ornaments, and can be picked up by anyone who wishes to participate.

When a tag is taken, the gifts requested are purchased and the tag and presents are given to the Salvation Army so that the presents can be delivered.

There are currently two trees set up in Susanville, one in Wal-Mart and the other in Ace Hardware, but more will be put up elsewhere as we get farther into the holiday season.