Angel Tree Program
The Angel Tree program brightens the lives of thousands of children each year who otherwise would have no gifts to open during the holidays. Angel Tree is a volunteer-driven program – with people from all over Broward County donating toys, time and expertise – and is a testament to the power of people coming together to help their neighbors in need. The donated gifts are given to parents a few days before Christmas. The child believes the gifts are from his parents or Santa Claus, which helps to preserve the magic of Christmas.
Each year, over 100 local corporations, churches and schools participate in the Angel tree program by setting up trees for their employees, members and students to adopt an Angel. Many of those corporate employees also volunteer time to help with the toy sorting and distribution process.
If your group would like to host an angel tree, contact:
Angel Trees are placed in four local malls – Broward, Coral Square, Galleria and Pembroke Lakes. Generous mall-goers choose an angel from the tree and buy a gift for that child.
Angel trees open December, 2017
If you would like to volunteer at a mall angel tree call Desiree Saunders at 954-712-2435.
Red Kettle Program
The Salvation Army in Broward County uses the red Christmas kettles to raise funds to support holiday activities and other local programs throughout the year. Church groups, Rotary, Kiwanis and other service minded organizations volunteer during the holiday season to ring the bell and raise much needed support for the Army.
The Origin of Christmas Kettles
In 1891, Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee of San Francisco wanted to provide a free Christmas dinner to the area’s poor. But how would he pay for the food? As he went about his daily tasks, the question stayed in his mind. Suddenly, his thoughts went back to his days as a sailor in Liverpool, England.
On the Stage Landing he saw a large pot, called “Simpson’s pot” into which charitable donations were thrown by passers-by. The next morning, Captain McFee secured permission from the authorities to place a similar pot at the Oakland ferry landing, at the foot of Market Street. He secured the pot and placed it in a conspicuous spot, so that it could be seen by all those going to and from the ferry boats. In addition, a brass urn was placed on a stand in the waiting room for the same purpose. Thus, a tradition was launched that has spread not only throughout the United States, but also around the world.
By Christmas, 1895, the kettle was used in 30 Salvation Army Corps in various sections of the West Coast area. The Sacramento Bee in that year carried a description of the Army’s Christmas activities and mentioned the contributions to street corner kettles. Shortly afterward, two young Salvation Army officers who had been instrumental in the original use of the kettle, William A. McIntyre and N.J. Lewis, were transferred to the East. They took with them the idea of the Christmas Kettle.
In 1897, McIntyre prepared his Christmas plans for Boston around the kettle, but his fellow officers refused to cooperate for fear of “making spectacles of themselves.” So McIntyre, his wife and his sister set up three kettles at the Washington Street thoroughfare in the heart of the city. That year the kettle effort in Boston and other locations nationwide resulted in 150,000 Christmas dinners for the needy.
Kettles now are used Korea, Japan, Chile and in many European countries. Everywhere, public contributions to the kettles enable The Salvation Army to bring the spirit of Christmas to those who would otherwise be forgotten – to children, the aged and lonely, the ill, the inmates of jails and other institutions, the poor and unfortunate in the United States.
The Salvation Army annually aids more than 3,000,000 persons at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Kettles have changed since the first utilitarian cauldron set up in San Francisco. Some of the new kettles have such devices as a self-ringing bell and a booth complete with public address system over which traditional Christmas carols are broadcast.
If you and/or your civic group would like to volunteer to “ring” at the Kettle, please contact Greg Jackson at 954-712-2432 or Gregory.Jackson@uss.salvationarmy.org