The Salvation Army of Pine Bluff is starting its Red Kettle Campaign with a goal of $98,000 this year, according to a news release from Lts. Kyle and Sarah Madison, the new leaders at the agency.


“The money raised from the Red Kettle Campaign helps provide 90 percent of the annual budget. Please help us continue to serve those in need by dropping in change to make change,” according to the release.


The kettle campaign has become a Christmas icon with its candy apple-red kettle and the sound of a bell ringing outside stores throughout cities nationwide.


The red kettle has a long history beginning in December of 1891.


By Christmas 1895, the kettle was used in 30 Salvation Army locations in various sections of the West Coast area. In 1898, the New York World hailed The Salvation Army kettles as “the newest and most novel device for collecting money.”


“Kettles can now be found in many foreign countries such as Korea, Japan, Chile, many European countries and Australia. This year, The Salvation Army will continue to make Red Kettle donations a social experience by encouraging people to share their reasons for giving with #RedKettleReason. People can visit RedKettleReason.org to start their own fundraising page and donate directly to a need The Salvation Army addresses, such as hunger, shelter and holiday assistance. It’s a chance for people to think about and share how their donations are making a difference,” according to the release.


“Wherever people find The Salvation Army, public contributions to the kettles enable The Salvation Army to bring the spirit of Christmas to those who would otherwise be forgotten all year long – to the aged and lonely, the ill, the inmates of jails and other institutions, the poor and unfortunate. In the United States, kettles at Thanksgiving and Christmas, although changed since the first utilitarian cauldron set up in San Francisco, help make it possible for The Salvation Army to do the best possible for nearly 30 million people each year,” according to the release.


People may visit http://www.RedKettleReason.org/ to share their own #RedKettleReason.


For more information about the programs and services of the Salvation Army of Pine Bluff, or to donate, call 870-534-0504, stop by the Salvation Army at 501 E. 12th Ave., visit www.salvationarmyaok.org or facebook.com/SalArmyPineBluff. Secure donations may also be made at www.redkettlereason.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.


Details: Lts. Kyle and Sarah Madison, 870-534-0504.