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Salvation Army seeks spirited bell ringers to perform by its red kettles

Terry Stowe of Charlotte is one of the Salvation Army’s longest running bell ringers. He also performs for passerby, singing and playing the harmonica.
Terry Stowe of Charlotte is one of the Salvation Army’s longest running bell ringers. He also performs for passerby, singing and playing the harmonica. dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to serve in one of the Charlotte community’s longest running charity campaigns: the Red Kettles.

The Red Kettle campaign is vital to the Salvation Army’s budget. It launches on Nov. 17 and runs through Dec. 23. Kettles will be found in more than 50 locations around Charlotte (with scores more in the metro region), and volunteers can sign up for three-hour shifts Monday through Saturday.

To sign up for a shift in Charlotte, visit RegisterToRing.com.

“Kettles staffed with volunteers help us dedicate even more of our resources to directly serving families who need us most. Plus, it’s a great outreach and service opportunity for individuals, corporate groups or church groups,” said Major Larry Broome, area commander for The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte.

Last year, more than $325,000 was raised through donations tossed in the kettles, money that helped pay for a homeless shelter for families and at-risk youth programs after school.

The Red Kettle Campaign has been a staple of the Christmas season for more than 125 years.

The Salvation Army traces its history in Charlotte back to 1904, when two sisters opened The Salvation Army Temple Corps in a small rented upstairs building on South Church Street. The next year, the first Red Kettle campaign was introduced in Charlotte, as Kettles were placed along the streets. These same Kettles were used until 1945 when Christmas funds were collected from the central Kettle House located on Independence Square in uptown Charlotte.

This year, The Salvation Army will pay homage to those roots, holding its Red Kettle Kickoff ceremony at Independence Square, at Trade and Tryon streets, on Nov. 17 at 11 a.m.

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