December 29, 2014

My #RedKettleReason: So Blessed I Want To Bless Others

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Influence Central for The Salvation Army. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Christmas was fantastic for my family this year, blessed with so many gifts, delicious food, and a festive holiday party that even included a surprise wedding. We laughed, we cried happy tears, and we all had a great time. I watched my niece open a stack of presents taller than she is, I had a stocking full of fun little surprises, I was able to give my family gifts that I knew would make them smile...

I know not everyone was as lucky as my family this year though; some families had nothing under the tree, no food in the fridge, maybe even no roof over their head. This is a sad reality and I want to do my part to help those in need.Thankfully, The Salvation Army is there for those in need and this year I'm going to help as much as I can through their fantastic Red Kettle campaign. My reason for giving is simple: I feel so blessed I want to be a blessing to others.

We've all seen The Salvation Army Red Kettle out in front of some of our favorite retailers around the holiday season, you could even call them a holiday staple... but did you know that The Salvation Army was established in London in 1865? The idea began to take shape in the States in 1891 when Captain McFee decided he wanted to provide the needy with a Christmas dinner, he thought back to when he was overseas and saw charitable donations pots...  and well, the rest is history.

Today, donations to The Salvation Army help support local shelters, after school programs, addiction recovery programs, summer camps, disaster assistance and many other social services. Actually in 2013, The Salvation Army served more than 58 million meals to the needy. While 204,000 people received rehabilitation services through donations to Family Stores and over 203,000 underprivileged children attended day care and summer day camps! The Army also provided nearly 10 million nights of shelter to the homeless and 324,000 people received help during times of disaster. What's even  more amazing is that more than 4 million families and children were served during the holidays and more than 1.8 million people received help through senior, medical and institutional services.

While the monetary donations are amazing, all the people that help The Salvation Army need to be recognized as well... Every single one of The Salvation Army’s 3,600 officers, 59,000 employees and 3.4 million volunteers has helped to serve nearly 30 million Americans in need in 2013! That’s almost one person, every second, every day! It's really incredible how many people The Salvation Army has helped, but they still need more donations and volunteers to continue to help more people in need.

Although Christmas is over and you probably won't find a bell ringer standing by a red kettle tomorrow, anyone can become a virtual bell ringer and raise money for their local communities by creating an Online Red Kettle at You can also text the word “KETTLE” to 80888 to make a $10 donation to support the campaign. Over the next few days The Salvation Army actually receives 1/3 of their online donations, probably because if you donate before January 1st  you won't just be helping someone else - you can write off your donation on your taxes!

Once you've donated, don't forget to share your reason for giving with the hashtag #RedKettleReason and check out for more ways to give and check out why the rest of America is giving.

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