The Susanville Choral Society makes a joyful sound as it sings in a past performance. Photo submitted

Salvation Army hosts inaugural Kettle Kick Off fundraiser dinner

Susanville’s Salvation Army Center hosted its inaugural Kettle Kick Off Dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Assembly of God Church.

The evening featured a homemade lasagna dinner (both vegetable and meat) prepared by Kristie Hoelzle, salad, bread and beverages, guest speakers, a silent auction and entertainment by the Susanville Choral Society.

The choral society greeted participants with a selection of holiday songs as they arrived.

Karen McDaniel, the Susanville Center Coordinator welcomed diners, Joye Storey, service extension director, offered an opening prayer, guest speakers included Sam Williams, editor of the Lassen County Times, and Cindy Grivel, a Salvation Army volunteer, and James Hall, the pastor at the Susanville Assembly of God Church offered the closing prayer.

Those who donated silent auction items included Margie’s Book Nook, Forest Office Equipment, Sierra Jewelry, Joe’s Coffee, Johnson’s Shoes, Anytime Fitness, Papa Murphy’s, Susanville Supermarket IGA, Mazatlan Grill, Lassen Ale Works at the Pioneer Saloon, Rite Aid, Jackson’s Service Center, Milwood Florist, Diana Hanson, Gail Wilburn, Teanna Duiedonne and Patricia Ferne.

Mission statement

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

For more information, call 257-0314.

How did the Christmas Kettles begin?

In December 1891, Joseph McFee, a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco, had resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner to 1,000 of the area’s poor. But how would he pay for the food?

As he went about his daily tasks, the question stayed in his mind. Suddenly, his thoughts went back to his days as a sailor in Liverpool, England.

On the State Landing, he saw a large pot, called “Simpson’s Pot,” into which charitable donations were thrown by passersby.

The next morning, he secured permission from the authorities to place a similar pot at the Oakland ferry landing at the foot of Market Street in San Francisco. No time was lost is securing the pot, attaching a “Keep the Pot Boiling” sign and placing it in a conspicuous position so all those going to and from the ferryboats could see it.

By Christmas 1895, the kettle was used in 30 locations on the West Coast. Shortly afterward, two young Salvation Army officers who had been instrumental in the original use of the kettle, William A. McIntyre and N.J. Lewis, were transferred to the east and took the idea of the Christmas kettle with them.

Thus McFee launched a tradition that has spread not only throughout the United States, but also throughout the world.

Kettles are now used in such distant lands as Korea, Japan and Chile and in many European countries.

Annually, the Salvation Army in the United States alone aids more than 6 million people at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Here in Susanville, all money raised in the Red Kettle Campaign stays here in the community to provide assistance to thousands of our less fortunate neighbors during Christmas and through the coming year. It is the local Salvation Army’s largest fundraiser effort, and it provides the base of the yearly budget.

What does the local Salvation Army do?

Last year the Salvation Army and its many volunteers:

  • Assisted more than 4,500 men, women and children.
  • Provided groceries to more than 1,007 households.
  • Provided emergency housing.
  • Kept utilities from being shut off in area homes.
  • Sent children to a week long Salvation Army camp.
  • Provided holiday assistance to men, women and children.
  • Assisted with other items, including but not limited to prescriptions, clothing and gasoline.