Army of volunteers helps Red Kettle Campaign exceed goals in Midland
The Salvation Army of Midland announced today it exceeded its fundraising goals during its Red Kettle Campaign this year.
The organization is thanking an army of volunteers from throughout the community who stepped up as bell-ringers outside local businesses from Nov. 30 to Dec. 23.
The nonprofit organization raised a total $130,103.15 in the 2023 campaign, exceeding its goal of $130,000. All money received through the red kettles stays in Midland and helps residents in need, according to the nonprofit, which shared its memorable moments from this year’s campaign on social media.
Organizations, companies and individuals throughout the community kept the bells ringing and the donations coming in, starting with a kickoff event at Urban Air on Nov. 30.
Staff at United Supermarket on Midland Drive received a Bell Ringer Award for going above and beyond, as did local realtors and media members who also volunteered.
In the First Responder Red Kettle Challenge, the Midland fire and police departments battled it out over who could ring up the most donations. The departments sent personnel to ring bells on different days, raising a collective $2,100 for the cause. In the end, the Midland Fire Department won the challenge.
Chevron employees stepped up to ring bells at Sam’s Club on Dec. 14. Several days earlier, representatives of the Permian Basin Area Foundation rang bells at the Red Kettle at Market Street.
On Dec. 10, the Salvation Army described a “fun filled with volunteer bell ringers,” expressing gratitude to those supporting from Market Street Associates, Vandergriff Group, NewsWest9, The Rotary Club of Midland, Rotay Club of Midland West, and several individuals in the community. The previous day, a number of Mildand Realtors and KWEL 1070 rang at Market Street and Hobby Lobby. Midland cheerleaders and the Business and Professional Women were also among this year’s many volunteers.
The bells stopped ringing on Dec. 23, but collections continued via “counter kettles” placed at other businesses, including both Chicken Express locations, all Walgreens, all West Texas National Bank locations, Westlake Ace Hardware, HTeaO, and Chick-fil-A on Wall and Rankin.
The Uptown Business & Professional Women’s Club made a final donation to help the Salvation Army exceed its goal of $130,000.
The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign’s origins date back to 1891, when Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee aimed to provide a free Christmas dinner for poverty-stricken people in San Francisco. To raise funds, McFee took inspiration from his sailor days in Liverpool, England, where a “Simpson’s Pot” placed at Stage Landing, where boats came in, accepted coins from passersby to donate to the poor. The next day, the captain placed a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing at the foot of Market Street, alongside a sign that read, “Keep the Pot Boiling.”
McFee “soon had the money to see that the needy people were properly fed at Christmas,” according to The Salvation Army.