The Salvation Army will kick off the rapidly approaching holiday season at CherryVale Mall, 7200 Harrison Ave., at 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 7, in the Mall’s Center Court.
The Salvation Army’s familiar red kettles and bells have ushered in the arrival of the Christmas season in Rockford and around the world for more than 100 years. The first time that The Salvation Army used a red kettle to collect funds for the Christmas season was in San Francisco, California. In December 1891, Captain Joseph McFee had no money to provide Christmas dinner to the poor. Desperate, he placed a large empty soup kettle on the street with a sign urging passers-by to “Keep the kettle boiling.”
Annually, nearly $200,000 is placed in Rockford-area Christmas kettles between Nov. 7 and Dec. 24. The money donated to the kettles enables The Salvation Army to bring the spirit of Christmas to those who might otherwise be forgotten — the aged and lonely, the sick, the inmates of jails and other institutions, the poor, and the unfortunate.
Also planned for the Kettle Kick-off at CherryVale Mall, The Salvation Army Brass Band will be on hand at 6 p.m. to greet Santa Claus as he makes his first holiday appearance.
From the Nov. 5-11, 2014, issue