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Kettle Calendar is Open!

August 22, 2017

It’s 80 degrees outside…. we just watched the summer Solar Eclipse! But it’s true- our Red Kettle Ringing volunteerism calendar is OPEN for scheduling!

Want to volunteer together as a company? You can! Need a Christmas outreach project for your social club? Do it with us! Have a church group looking for an opportunity? Join our team!!

I mean, how cute are these little bell ringers?? You can bring the whole family and give back together this holiday season.

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

GREAT QUESTION! There are three easy ways to sign up to ring.

  1. You can sign yourself up online! Just follow the instructions on our Red Kettle Volunteer site to pick a city, date and shift to serve.
  2. Email us! Having tech problems or just don’t want to go through the website? We will do it for you! Email lindsey.strong@uss.salvationarmy.org. **If you are signing up for a group, emailing is the best option.
  3. Really, really don’t love technology? You can call us! 479-521-2151.

WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT?

Another great question!! We ask for one 3-hour shift. That’s it!! Now, if you want to do more, PLEASE DO! We love returners. But the minimum commitment is one shift (11-2, 2-5, or 5-8) Monday-Saturday. You can always ring for longer than 3 hours or can sign up for multiple 3-hours shifts over multiple days.

WHEN DOES THE RINGING SEASON START?

We will start November 10th this year and ring right up until Christmas! That’s lots of days. I bet you can find 3 hours in there to ring a bell and spread Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear! Or… you can just ring. Totally your preference.

WHY BELL RINGING?

The Red Kettle Campaign is our biggest fundraiser of the year. Like galas or dinners, red kettle ringing supports our services year-round and has a deep tradition.

Curious about what happens to all the money in the Kettles? Learn more about how we use that money here in Northwest Arkansas in our article 5 Places Your Money Goes After the Red Kettle.

Want to see lots of people having SO MUCH FUN ringing the bell last year?? Check out our 2016 Red Kettle Round-Up!

We hope to see you out in your Christmas sweaters ringing the bell with us this year!

The Angel Tree and Red Kettle Round-Up

January 4, 2017

HAPPY 2017, NORTHWEST ARKANSAS!!

The Christmas Season has finally wrapped up and the New Year is underway!! And we think the best way to celebrate the New Year is by reflecting on all the joys of last year. 2016 was an incredible year for The Salvation Army, and it was only made possible by this community!! So for that, we thank you!

Now, we know you all have been wondering- just how much did the Kettles raise this year?? And how many angels were adopted through the Angel Tree program? Well, DRUMROLLLLL…. because we are thrilled to tell!


RED KETTLES

Because of your generosity (and some pretty awesome bell ringers^^^), we were able to raise $343,952 across Northwest Arkansas this year!! So thank you, thank YOU for giving. We are truly so grateful. Curious as to where the money goes after the Kettle? You can see how we use the money throughout the year >>> HERE!

Check out some of our favorite moments from the bell ringing season!

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Selfie with a cop made its debut this year from the Benton County Sheriff Department!

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Our very own bell ringer Gary Shipley had an article published on his banjo playing!

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JB Hunt competed for a week to raise over $7,500 for The Salvation Army!!

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Sometimes ringing is so fun, you have to bring 15 friends to one Kettle!

ANGEL TREE

Many of you gave in a different way this Christmas Season- you gave to the Angel Tree!! And once again we had an AMAZING year!! Every single child was adopted by our community and corporate donors this year- Woo!! Way to go, Northwest Arkansas!

We were able to serve 2,113 children this year, because of your generosity! That’s over 750 families who had Christmas gifts under the tree and a Christmas meal on the table.

Here are some of our favorite Angel Tree moments of the season!!

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We filled a warehouse as long as a football field with gifts you generously provided!

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Jim’s Razorback Pizza provided some awesome food for our volunteers.

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Tyson, The Pack Shack, Schmieding Produce, and Arkansas Egg Company provided meals for our angel families.

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These cute kiddos donated over 400 pairs of socks at Folsom Elementary school to help those in need.

THANK YOU, NORTHWEST ARKANSAS!!

5 Places your Money Goes after the Red Kettle

December 19, 2016

“TELL ME ABOUT THE CHANGE”

Only FOUR MORE DAYS of Red Kettle ringing here in Northwest Arkansas, and it’s been an awesome season!!

BUT each year, as the change comes in, we are asked the same question: where exactly does that money go?? 32 days of ringing bells at over 50 locations adding up to (hopefully) $380,000- it is a lot of change!! Well, we would LOVE to tell you! Because your donations to the Red Kettle keep us operating all year long.

Your change, makes CHANGE!!

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  1. IT STAYS LOCALLY

The Salvation Army raises funds at the ground level- and they stay here “on the ground”. That means our funds do not get funneled down to our many locations across the globe from headquarters or some central money making hub.

Instead, money is raised at the local level and then remains in that community! So Northwest Arkansas, your money is staying right here in this community. And we are proud of that!

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2. IT HOUSES THE HOMELESS

There are an estimated 2,462 homeless in Northwest Arkansas, according to research done by the University of Arkansas in 2015.

We see the need every day here at The Salvation Army and desire to be a refuge for those who are hurting. That is why we offer free, emergency shelter to those experiencing crisis, tragedy, and loss. Last year, we

Last year, we served a combined total of over 18,000 nights of shelter at our Fayetteville and Bentonville Shelters and provided over 80,000 meals to those in need in our community.

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3. IT FREES THE ADDICT

This is Aaron; he graduated from our program in November of this year! His life has been completely changed through our drug rehab program, and we are so PROUD of him!!

When you give money to the Kettle, it provides freedom from addiction. Restoration of families. Hope for the future. Productive, community-minded citizens. And PEACE for those who were hurting and lost.

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4. IT SERVES UNDER-PRIVILEGED YOUTH

Every week, The Salvation Army busses in kids from the low-income areas of Northwest Arkansas to love on them, serve them, feed them and teach them about Jesus.

Many of these children would be going home to empty houses, finding food for themselves (if there is any that night), and likely never experiencing the simple joy of a safe, fun place to spend their time without this program.

When you give, these children are fed. They get to go to summer camp! They get respite from the place they call “house” that may never feel like home.

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5. IT HELPS THE HURTING IN MORE WAYS THAN WE CAN COUNT

The mission of The Salvation Army is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. And we strive to do that every day.

Whether we are providing shelter, food, utility assistance, addiction recovery, clothing, furniture, disaster relief, Christmas gifts or simply a listening ear, we strive to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in the most need. Daily, we strive to Do the Most Good.

To learn more about our services, click the links…

Addiction Recovery
Emergency Shelter
Social Services

To give to the Red Kettle Online…
Give Online


THANK YOU, NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, FOR CONTINUING TO SUPPORT US!! Together, Let’s “Do The Most Good”.

4 Largest Donations Found in the Red Kettle

December 8, 2016

Charley Brandt, dressed as Santa, rings the bell for the Salvation Army at the Byerly's store in Roseville. Brandt, a three year veteran of bell ringing is trying out the newly acquired Santa suit in hopes that increases donations. Tuesday, December 10, 2013. He a Byerly's customers laughs as Brandt compliments her on her smile and wishes her, "Merry Christmas". (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

We all know the feeling of reaching for spare change in our pockets– trying to find a few coins here or there to give to the chilly bell ringer standing outside of Walmart. Though most often, spare change and $1 bills are what finds their way to the kettle, there are a few bigger donations that come in each year. 

Want to know some of the largest donations (on record) ever given to the Red Kettle?! We have a compilation of some of the most generous gifts ever seen by The Salvation Army at Christmastime! 

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The $10K Piggy Bank

Your child’s piggy bank mayyyy not be worth much, but for rare coin collectors, their little assemblage can be rather valuable! An anonymous donor finally revealed their identity after 15 years of donating parts of their rare coin collection to the Kettles.

“Dick and Ruth Jean Unger, who had long asked to remain nameless, finally went public because so many people wanted to know who was behind the kind-hearted deed.”

After all was said and done, their coins amounted to a grand total of $10,000!!!

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Five $10K Checks from Secret Santa Wrapped in a $1 Bill

At a Joplin, Mo. Walmart on Black Friday, as the shoppers were waiting in line, one shopper wasn’t there to buy a big screen TV!! As the officers counted the Red Kettle totals that evening, 5 checks for $10,000 each were found inside the Kettle- all wrapped inside of a $1 dollar bill!!

“The person or persons behind the $50,000 donation remain anonymous, as she or he (or they) has been for the past decade. Salvation Army officials have nicknamed the anonymous donor(s) “Secret Santa” for the tradition of donating large sums in the kettle each Christmas season.”

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Bank matches $100,000 in donations

The Citizens Bank Foundation announced that it would donate $100,000 to The Salvation Army’s 2007 Kettle Campaign in New Hampshire as a match to the local’s giving. Green Kettles marked as Citizen’s Bank “match kettles” were put out throughout the state.

This helped “successfully complete a partnership developed in response to the growing need for emergency food, shelter and assistance with fuel expenses throughout the state.”

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The $500,000 Family Legacy

A check for $500,000 was dropped into The Salvation Army kettle at a Club Foods in Rosemount, Minnesota.

The family chose this gift to honor their family legacy.
One of their fathers served in World War 1 and especially loved The Salvation Army Donut Lassies, who brought coffee and donuts to the soldiers on the front lines. Want to learn more about the Donut Lassies?? Check out the story HERE:

Story Sources:

1) $10,000 Coins  2) Checks from Santa  3) Bank Match  4) The Minnesota $500K

5 Easy Steps to Adopting a Christmas Angel

November 21, 2016

Christmas has already begun at The Salvation Army and we look forward to another great season!! The Angel Trees are officially up in Walmarts all over NWA with sweet angels ready to be adopted by YOU, our amazing community.

Every year, we get lots of questions about how to adopt an angel, where to find a tree and when the gifts are due. So here are the 5 easy steps you can take to adopting a child in need and making a difference in Northwest Arkansas this Christmas!

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1. FIND A TREE
First thing is first- you have to find our trees! This year we have 9 trees in Walmarts near you. Most often, the tree is located near the customer service desk accompanied by a giant wrapped box for your gift deposits! Here are our locations:

FAYETTEVILLE ROGERS
3919 N Mall Ave. 2110 W Walnut
2875 W MLK Blvd. 4208 Pleasant Crossing
SPRINGDALE BENTONVILLE
2004 S Pleasant 406 S Walton
4870 Elm Springs Rd
SILOAM SPRINGS HUNTSVILLE
2901 Hwy 412 E 157 Gary Hatfield Way

2. PICK AN ANGEL
We have thousands of angels that need to be filled in NWA! Grab a tag or two off the tree to fill. Consider picking a tag that is the same age as your kids and shopping as a family!

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3. GO SHOPPING
This is by far the most FUN step! Look over your list and pick out items that match the list (or are as close as possible). Buying the toys is a blast, but don’t forget shoes and coats too! Shoes are the most forgotten item on the angel’s list EVERY year and it is often one of the greatest NEEDS.

4. BAG THE GIFTS
One of our most asked questions is… “Do I need to wrap the gifts?” The answer is no! Please do NOT wrap the gifts. We want the parents to be able to see what their children are receiving and feel a sense of ownership during the process by wrapping the gifts themselves. Simply follow the bagging AND TAGGING instructions and you will be good to go!

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5. DROP THEM IN THE BIN
Now that you have shopped, bagged, and tagged- we need your gifts back!! This year, the due date for gifts is December 9th. If we receive your bag after that date, we will not be able to use it this year. We will save the gifts inside to give out next year, but our staff will have to fill your angel for you with extra gifts that were given. So PLEASE bring them back on time!!

Bonus Step: Think on the Impact
I know I said there were only 5 steps- but this final step is really important! Remember that you are making a child’s Christmas this year by providing gifts and clothing for them. 1 in 4 children in Arkansas is food insecure. 30% of household incomes in NWA are a combined total of $25,000 or less.

So when you are adopting a child, you are truly making a difference! Not only will they receive your gifts, but each angel family will receive several nights worth of food from our partners like Tyson, The Pack Shack and Schmieding H C Produce! So from our team here at The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas, we say thank you!

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Our Community

December 23, 2015

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It has been an amazing Kettle Season here at The Salvation Army and we want to share it with you! We cannot make a difference in NW Arkansas without the support of our community. This Christmas blog series has introduced leaders of change, but truly, each and every individual who has served alongside us this year is #afaceofchange to us. We want to highlight many of the amazing memories and moments we have experienced this season: the heart-warming stories, the laughter, the joy, and the people who have supported us. Thank you for bringing the Christmas Spirit to Northwest Arkansas. Thank you for being our #redkettlereason!

Merry & Bright,
The Salvation Army of NW Arkansas

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Why do you guys want to ring bells?

“I want to ring bells to help get money for people who do not have houses.” -Hudson (5)
“I want to ring because I never did it before. And because I want to sell money!” -Oliver (4)

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Paul Bingham, Senior Vice President Sales, J B Hunt Transport

“This experience has really changed my perspective on the significance of ringing the bell for The Salvation Army. So many times I’ve just walked passed the Red Kettles without giving it much attention…that will never happen again. This is my first time to volunteer for the Red Kettle event, but definitely won’t be the last!”

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Laylah, 4 year old Kettle enthusiast

“Mommy, I want to put more (change) in,” said Laylah.
“I don’t have anymore!”
“Then let’s put your (credit) cards in there!”

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Lindsey Strong, PR Director, The Salvation Army

“While ringing the bell one chilly evening, this young lady walked up and offered me some hot chocolate! Her mom told me that it was her idea to give back this Christmas by driving around to all the bell ringers and giving them hot drinks. She quickly became my #redkettlereason!”

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What is your #redkettlereason?

“We want to ring the bell to help everyone have a great Christmas and warm clothes because everyone deserves to have the things they need!” Kalli (8) and Teagan (6)

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Pi Beta Phi Sorority

Congratulations on being our Panhellenic #redkettlecompetitions Champions! We hope you guys enjoyed our yummy kettle-corn prize!

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Dawn Rodriguez, Administrative Assistant, The Salvation Army

“As I was ringing the bells with my kids, a gentleman walked up to the Kettle. He said that he was homeless, but that he had stayed at The Salvation Army in the past and they were good to him. He wanted to give all that he had, but all that he had was $.11. He put it in, and I told him that his $.11 was worth a million to us because he gave everything that he had.” 

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Fayetteville native, Natalie Counce speaking at the 2015 Rock the Red Kettle Event in L.A.!

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