Monday, December 21, 2015

The Kettle Campaign

This past Saturday in the Byward Market, an ensemble from the Salvation Army were playing Christmas music for two hours. I photographed them at work, and have a video clip here. The first tune is 'In The Bleak Midwinter', though the second tune's name eludes me. Anyone who can identify that, please do so. The audio is more due to my camera and the wind. 

These are the final days of the kettle campaign for the Salvation Army here in Ottawa (as well as in cities and towns across the world). The organization and church has its roots going back to 1865 in Britain, founded by Methodist minister William Booth and his wife Catherine. The Christmas kettle campaign, started later in the 19th century as a way to give Christmas dinner to the needy, has come to be the source of funds for the Salvation Army's programs, which include shelters, street outreach, family tracing, community and family services, emergency response, transitional services, and more. In Ottawa, that includes the Bethany Hope program, helping young parents adjust to their responsibilities through education and guidance. 

My mother impressed upon us that donating to the Salvation Army this time of year is the best way to do the most good, a lesson that's stayed with me. Donated funds stay within the community, put right into the programs. Here in Ottawa, as I assume to be the case in other places, the campaign wraps up on Christmas Eve (earlier than the stores close). If you haven't donated yet to one of the kettles in your area, put a few bucks into the kettles. It's the best way to help those who need it. 


  1. That was a very special kettle event!

    Love your header image.

  2. It is a good deed, donate something for the needy.


  3. They do a great job all over the world.

  4. They do a great job whenever, and wherever, they can. A great cause to contribute to. I love their thrift stores.

  5. Wise advice - and the Christmas shopping experience would be much diminished without a Sally Army band somewhere. Have a wonderful Christmas, William, and thanks for all the great posts and comments.

  6. i have never seen their band, just bell ringers. i always wish i had a hammer, because i don't really enjoy the bell ringing. i know i know now bah humbug for me, as a kid we donated our time to do this many a Christmas, never getting paid. then i heard that they are being paid now, that kind of make me unhappy. it should be a donation of your time & energy, seems weird to be a job to get paid. hope that makes sense to ya. ( :

    Merry Christmas William. any snow your way?

  7. My dad always donated and so do I. Sally Ann is one of the best charities around!

  8. This is such a nice reminder about the good the Salvation Army does. I've put some dollars in the red kettle several times now this season. I also have a friend who volunteers as a bell ringer every year.

  9. A very nice set of photos. The SA does do some good work. I've thought about being a bell ringer...I could just stand there and shake my head! :)

  10. A serious and well intended post, but Lowell's comment cracked me up!

  11. Excellent post, William

    ( '>
    Warm ALOHA,

  12. Yes a great group. There's nothing like those old brass bands just belting out the tunes. I haven't seen Salvation Army band for a long time.

  13. I agree, great post William. It´s such a pleasure to see these photos.

  14. Though l'armée du salut exists, I don't think I've ever heard them play anything. I do, however, remember the brass bands in England round about this time of year...

  15. I would love to hear them play. Have a great day!

  16. I agree, great post, William. Your mother was right about how the Salvation Army does such good. My husband donated today. Merry Christmas!

  17. I remember them as a kid and know they're still around, though I rarely see them, not being often in the US for Christmas. Plan to next year, though!

  18. The salvation army is an amazing association that continues to be at the forefront of giving. Love your collection of photos. This is the first time i have seen Salvation Army jackets. And one guy is playing the trumpet with gloves on. It must be cold.

  19. If only I could have kept up practicing my horn. :-)

  20. @Tex: they do great work.

    @Merisi: thank you!

    @Tomas: it certainly is.

    @Marianne: they really do.

    @Linda: they've earned a good reputation.

    @Janey: so do I.

    @Mike: thank you!

    @Beth: a bit of snow, but today freezing rain!

    @Furry Gnome: indeed!

    @Sharon: that money adds up!

    @Lowell: hah!

  21. @VP: me too!

    @Cloudia: thanks!

    @Red: this one you could hear quite away off. They played very well.

    @Marleen: thank you!

    @Ciel: I guess the tradition comes from there.

    @Nancy: thank you!

    @Kittie: thanks!

    @Pat: I imagine where there are a lot of local Salvation Army chapters, there's more likelihood of a band.

    @Gemma: it was a brisk windy day!

    @Revrunner: well I've never learned any instrument, and my singing voice sounds like someone's strangling a cat!

  22. Nice post! Always good to help others!

  23. Great reminder to share with the less fortunate!

  24. Fine words William, well done. Always try and support a worthwhile cause especially if the money stays local...

  25. Dang. Lowell's done it again. So much for my own well intentioned comment...

  26. @Mari: it does good.

    @Linda: true!

    @EG: definitely.

    @Geoff: that's true.

    @Kay: count on Lowell to do that. I wonder where he is.