How The Salvation Army Started Ringing Silver Bells and Red Kettles

REDLANDS, CA— 'I have been asked many times, how and why did The Salvation Army start ringing those silver bells during the Christmas season to enc...

October 2, 2022
3:12 AM

REDLANDS, CA— 'I have been asked many times, how and why did The Salvation Army start ringing those silver bells during the Christmas season to encourage donations,' said Major Isaias Braga, Commander of The Salvation Army of San Bernardino. 'Well, this is how it all began… Captain Joseph McFee, serving with the San Francisco Salvation Army Corps in 1891, wanted to serve Christmas dinner to the poor in his neighborhood. But he didn't have money to do so. As a sailor in Liverpool, England, Captain McFee saw people on the docks throw money into a large kettle called 'Simpson's Pot' to help the poor.

Wallace