By Bobbie Lehrmann, Assistant Director of Public Communications
The Salvation Army‘s annual Mayor Ring-Off has become a holiday tradition in our community, but here’s the problem – the Bryan mayor has reigned supreme for an astounding 16 years.
It’s time for a holiday miracle, and it starts with you.
Let’s rally the wonderful people of College Station to make history. On Saturday, Dec. 2, from noon-1 p.m., College Station Mayor John Nichols will man the iconic red kettle at the College Station Walmart, and Bryan Mayor Bobby Gutierrez will be at the Bryan Walmart on Briarcrest.
If you can’t donate in person, we encourage you to contribute online through the virtual red kettle:
Remember, the Mayor Ring-Off isn’t just a friendly competition; it’s a true reflection of the spirit of Christmas. Your generosity can brighten the holidays for those in need.
Please support Mayor Nichols and The Salvation Army and help make this Christmas season a time of giving and hope.
History of the Red Kettle
Have you ever wondered about the red kettle’s history? Here’s the heartwarming story, courtesy of The Salvation Army:
The tradition of the red kettle began with Joseph McFee, The Salvation Army’s captain in San Francisco, in December of 1891. He was determined to provide a free Christmas dinner for the area’s poor, but he needed to find a way to fund it. As he contemplated this challenge, his thoughts drifted back to his days as a sailor in Liverpool, England. He remembered seeing a large pot into which passersby threw charitable donations.
He obtained permission to place a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing the following day. That marked the beginning of a tradition that has since spread throughout the United States and worldwide.
By Christmas 1895, the kettle was used in 30 Salvation Army locations across the West Coast. The tradition continued to grow, and kettle contributions in various places provided Christmas dinners for those in need. Today, these red kettles are not only a symbol of the holiday season but also a lifeline for nearly 30 million people who benefit from The Salvation Army’s various programs and services.
Doing the Most Good
Red kettle donations help support shelters, after-school programs, addiction recovery programs, summer camps, disaster assistance, and other social services. The kettles are found worldwide, spreading the spirit of Christmas to those who might otherwise be forgotten – from the elderly and lonely to those in jails and other institutions and the less fortunate in our communities.
In the United States, the red kettles at Thanksgiving and Christmas have evolved since their humble beginnings in San Francisco, but their impact remains profound. They enable The Salvation Army to do the most good for nearly 30 million people annually.
About the Blogger
Bobbie Lehrmann is in her first year as the city’s assistant director of public communications. She comes to College Station from the City of Navasota, where she served as marketing and communications director. Lehrmann lived most of her life in Australia and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media communications from Queensland University of Technology.
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