Thank you for your interest in the Bell Ringer Program

The leaves are falling, the air turning cooler, and the Holidays are quickly approaching, which means it’s time for Salvation Army Bell Ringing. Each year, the Rotary Club of Tulsa raises thousands of dollars in support of the Salvation Army and it’s work in the Tulsa Community.

This year our commitment to the Salvation Army is grater than ever. We need volunteers at multiple locations through out the city of Tulsa. To view the available location, time slots and sign up for Bell Ringing Click Here

For more information about this event contact Salvation Army Committee chair, Rotarian Michelle Place, mplace@tulsahistory.org, or the Rotary Club of Tulsa at 918-584-7642

History of Salvation Army red kettles

Aside from “Ho, ho, ho!” and several songs by Perry Como, perhaps no other sound says Christmas more than the ring of a Salvation Army bell.

Salvation Army kettle historyThe red kettle has been an American icon for nearly 125 years. From Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, the ubiquitous buckets can be found outside thousands of storefronts in small towns and big cities across the country. They can even be found on your TV, appearing in dozens of movies.

Red kettles raise millions for Salvation Army programs that provide food, shelter, rehabilitation, disaster relief, and much more for people and families in crisis. Last Christmas season, The Salvation Army Northern Division raised about $6.4 million at nearly 900 kettle locations in Minnesota and North Dakota. Nationwide, kettles raised almost $136 million.

Indeed, red kettles are a Christmas force. But have you ever wondered who started the red kettle tradition, where, and why?

Wonder no more. Below is a short history of the Salvation Army red kettle, one of the most timeless and successful Christmas fundraising tools of all time.

Origins

In December of 1891, Captain Joseph McFee of The Salvation Army in San Francisco, Calif., was stumped. He wanted to provide a Christmas dinner for 1,000 poor people, but had no way to pay for it.

Then, an idea. He thought back to when he was as a sailor in Liverpool, England, where on the docks of the city’s waterfront he remembered seeing a large pot into which charitable donations could be thrown.

The next day, McFee secured permission to place a brass urn at the Oakland ferry landing. Beside the pot, he placed a sign that read, “Keep the Pot Boiling.” Soon, he had all the money he needed to fund the Christmas dinner.

Two years later, McFee’s fundraising idea had expanded to 30 kettle locations on the West Coast. He’d grown the program with help from two young Salvation Army officers named William A. McIntyre and N.J. Lewis.

Soon after Christmas 1895, McIntyre and Lewis were transferred to the East Coast. They took with them the idea of a Christmas kettle.

Kettle explosion

McIntyre was stationed in Boston. During the 1897 Christmas season, he, his wife and sister set up three kettles in the heart of the city. Their effort, combined with others on the West Coast and elsewhere, resulted in 150,000 Christmas dinners for the poor, nationwide.

Red kettle historyRed kettles spread to the Big Apple, where the New York World newspaper hailed them as “the newest and most novel device for collecting money.” The newspaper also observed, “There is a man in charge to see that contributions are not stolen.”

In 1901, kettle donations in New York City funded a massive sit-down Christmas dinner at Madison Square Garden. The meal became a tradition for many years.

The rest, as they say, is history. Captain McFee’s idea launched a tradition that has spread not only throughout the United States, but across the world. Although red kettles are not found in all of the 126 countries The Salvation Army serves in, they can still be found in such distant lands as Korea, Japan, Chile, and many European countries.

Join the movement

Sign up to bell ringYou can be part of the red kettle tradition by volunteering to ring bells.

Thousands of hours of ringing are available at hundreds of kettle locations across Minnesota and North Dakota.

Bell ringers raise an average of $30 per hour. In just two hours of ringing, you’ll raise enough money to provide a week’s worth of groceries for a family of four.

12-4-2014 Salvation Army Bell Ringers
12-19-13 Salvation Army Bellringers

Stay Connected

Our leadership team gave their Monday night to attend the Visioning Launch Lab, getting ready for the start of the new Rotary year on July 1st. 🎉🎉

What an amazing and dedicated group! Can’t wait to see what all they accomplish this year! #agentsofchange #peopleofaction
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Happy #MemberMonday honoring one of our Rotarians.

Dr. Mouzon Biggs, Jr., is inspiring on many levels and we are blessed to be able to call him a fellow Rotarian.

Anytime it is announced that Mouzon will be speaking it brings anticipation that you will hear something grand, something that will leave you thinking about what has been said. We all know Mouzon speaks from the heart and presents in a thoughtful, inspirational and well-meaning way. Mouzon inspires me to “keep doing the next right thing” and "keep swinging for the fences” as he so amply displays this motto in his day to day life. Thank you Mouzon for being you.

Upon retiring as Sr Pastor at Boston Avenue Methodist Church Mouzon said: “I never walked into the pulpit that I didn’t do the best I knew how to be as faithful to God’s word as I knew how. I never promised a home run, but I did promise to swing as hard as I could. I think I managed that.”

I think we can all agree he did that and so much more.
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June 14, 2004

15 years ago today, Past President Jimmie Saied celebrated his final birthday at the 11th Annual Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Awards Banquet directing "The Stars and Stripes Forever."

2004 Iba Chair, Linda Bradshaw, introduced him with the following:

"Our finale is a tribute to our honorees with a presentation that is a testament to his own life. A gentleman and patriot beyond description was born this very day, June 14, 1915 on Flag Day. He carried the torch to Washington to witness the signing into law signifying that "The Star and Stripes Forever" become the official march of the United States of America. He has thrilled thousands for decades with his characterization of John Philip Sousa through the concerts he has conducted across this great country. I'm proud to celebrate his 89th birthday with him tonight. He is my dearest and personal friend. Please welcome, Maestro James G. Saied."
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The Rotary Club of Tulsa, with sincere appreciation, presents the “James G. Saied Service Above Self…And Then Some” Award to Rotarian and Past President Charles B. Wilson, Jr.

For continuing to serve his club with leadership counsel and enthusiasm long after serving as club President, 1996-97;

For strengthening the club by initiating several membership initiatives that led to more and higher committed members that reflect the vitality and diversity of our community;

For his numerous leadership positions on the board and club committees, including the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Awards, where he chaired the event and served on the organizing committee for all 25 years;

For his leadership coordinating Rotary’s support for the transformational OU-OSU Bedlam Clinics;

He is exceptionally qualified to receive the club’s highest honor.

Congratulations!
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