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Kettles, kindness and the hope of Christmas


The Christmas kettle, pictured above in Norway, is a symbol of hope and kindness around the world.

The Christmas Kettle takes on many forms around the world and is a beacon of hope for millions of people who receive the support and services that The Salvation Army provides throughout the year.


Originating in the United States in the late 19th century, the brainchild of Captain Joseph McFee, the Christmas Kettle emerged as a response to those facing hardship during the festive season.


Tina in the USA was motivated to join the Kettle campaign to follow her grandmother's example.

Witnessing the struggles that people were enduring, including homelessness and hunger, Joseph drew inspiration from his days as a sailor in the British port of Liverpool, where he encountered ‘Simpson’s pot’, which was a large iron kettle that was used as a collection pot for donations for the needy. Adapting this idea in the US, in 1891, he placed a similar receptacle at the Oakland Ferry Landing in California and was successful in collecting funds to feed the poor during Christmas.


The idea proved to be a major triumph, so Joseph encouraged other Salvation Army territories to try this concept, and by 1895 the Christmas Kettle was being used to raise money in 30 regions across the West Coast of the USA.


In the freezing and war-torn nation of Ukraine, the Christmas Kettle is raising money for children in need.

Today in the Northern Hemisphere, the Christmas Kettle campaign remains a symbol of hope, with compassion and generosity at the core of the tradition.


We can often get caught up in our own lives during the festive period and forget to think of those less fortunate. Christmas and the (northern) winter season can be a difficult time of year for many, so this can be an opportune moment for us all to think about how we can spread hope in our community and to those in need.


For more images on Christmas kettles around the world, click on the slideshow below.





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