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Give to the red kettles

Every time this time of year you see people ringing bells and standing by kettles provided by The Salvation Army.

It’s part of the annual Christmas kettle project that will provide something for someone in the near future.

The project began in San Francisco in 1891 when Capt. Joseph McFee saw so many poor people and so much need. He wanted to provide a free dinner for the people, but he had to fund the project.

McFee drew on his days as a sailor in Liverpool, England and how people would throw change into “Simpson’s Pot” to help the poor.

So, McFee took the idea as his own. He placed a pot at Oakland Ferry landing with sign, “Keep the Pot Boiling.”

From that day, the idea spread across the country and even into Europe, Korea and Japan.

Those donations fed people then.

Those donations now in Selma mean Christmas dinners for families in need, clothing and toys for folks.

The people standing by those kettles aren’t strangers. They are family and friends. In some way, they have been touched by The Salvation Army’s efforts, so they volunteer.

While you’re out this season, keep the pot boiling. Toss some change into a red kettle.