WHAT: The 2011 Red Kettle Campaign kicks off Thursday, and the Salvation Army of Augusta is looking for volunteers to ring bells at the kettles.
WHEN: Noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays, starting Thursday through Dec. 24.
WHERE: Kettles will be posted at more than 25 locations around Augusta.
THE CAUSE: The Salvation Army aims to raise $250,000 through the 2011 kettle campaign. That money supports year-round services and programs of the Salvation Army, including a homeless shelter, soup kitchen and job skills programs, said Katie Atkinson, volunteer coordinator.
THE BACKSTORY: The Salvation Army’s red kettles date to 1891. Salvation Army Capt. Joseph McFee put out the first kettle after watching the poor of San Francisco go hungry, according to a Salvation Army history. McFee placed a kettle at the Oakland Ferry Landing with a sign that read, “Keep the Pot Boiling.” McFee, a former sailor, said the idea was inspired by a similar kettle he saw in Liverpool, England. Passers-by would toss in a coin or two to help the poor.
SIGN UP: Individuals, churches, schools, business, civic and other groups can sign up to ring for a minimum four-hour shift. Call Atkinson at (706) 826-7933.