I am a Tombstone Tourist: someone who loves to wander cemeteries. I find it akin to visiting a museum: an opportunity to enjoy rarely seen sculpture, intricate carvings, and amazing architecture, all in a tranquil outdoor setting. This blog is about cemetery culture, art, history, issues of death, and genealogy - subjects of current relevance. I usually find something that intrigues me and makes me want to dig deeper. Care to join me? Read on...
would recognize that red kettle anywhere, and the holidays wouldn’t seem quite
right without the ringing of that bell along street corners throughout the world,
but do you really know what the Salvation Army does?
year will mark the sesquicentennial of The Salvation Army, a Christian
organization and international group that provides charitable giving to those
in need. The organization is set up along the lines of a military unit with officers,
soldiers and volunteers who work together to meet the physical, emotional and
spiritual needs of the poor, destitute and hungry.
all began in 1865, when London minister William Booth decided to take his
message to the streets so that he could better reach the poor, homeless and
hungry. Realizing that the destitute were not welcome in Victorian churches of
the time, Booth founded a church just for them – the East London Christian
wife Catherine, and son Bramwell worked with him. In fact, it was Bramwell who
named the organization The Salvation Army in 1878. In 1880, The Salvation Army
came to America, and by 1900, the group had established organizations
throughout the world. Today, The Salvation Army can be found in 126 countries
around the globe.
Capt. Joseph McFee
red kettle did not come about until December of 1891. Salvation Army
Captain Joseph McFee needed money to pay for food
for the free Christmas dinners to be given to San Francisco’s poor. While
walking the waterfront, McFee saw a “Simpson’s pot,” a large pot placed near
the landing docks where passerby’s tossed coins to the poor.
placed a similar pot at the Oakland ferry landing with a sign that read, “Keep the Pot Boiling.”McFee received enough money to provide
dinners for all of those in need that Christmas. By 1895, over 30 Salvation
Army locations in the U.S. were using the red kettles to raise funds for the
poor, and by 1897, the red kettle had spread throughout the country. The New
York World newspaper dubbed the kettles “the
newest and most novel device for collecting money.” And the kettles are
still used today, mainly between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last year, over
58-and-a-half million meals were served to those in need.
But The Salvation Army does more than give holiday assistance, provide rehabilitation
centers, and run thrift stores. It also offers emergency disaster services, provides
senior, adult and child care centers, oversees group homes and temporary
housing, provides youth camps, training programs, and supplies transportation,
medical care, job referrals and substance abuse assistance to those in need. In
the 21st century, human and sexual trafficking are major problems,
and The Salvation Army also provides services and advocacy for those who have
been victimized by this international crime.
Salvation Army Lodging
the past year, shelter and lodging was provided for over 10.5 million people,
and clothing, furniture and gifts were distributed to over 20 million people
throughout the world.
Salvation Army also provides assistance during and after major disasters.
There are ordained clergy in the group who comfort the bereaved,
conduct funeral services and hold memorial services. To find out more, visit The Salvation Army website.
150 years of “Doing the Most Good” is indeed, something to celebrate.