NEWPORT, RI - Newport community leaders helped support those in need by ringing bells for The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign at various locations on Saturday, December 8th.
The Salvation Army in Newport serves Adamsville, Gould Island, Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, North Tiverton, Portsmouth, Prudence Island, and Tiverton. Kettle income supports a variety of programs and services including a food pantry, bread pantry, heating assistance, clothing vouchers, kids and teens character development program as well as holiday assistance.
The money raised not only helps during Christmas, but also sustains vital programs and services throughout the year. In 2017, The Salvation Army, located on Memorial Boulevard in Newport, served 5,830 in the food pantry, 17,182 at the bread pantry and 145 families (322) children with Christmas toys and food.
Lieutenant James Bang, Officer at The Salvation Army in Newport said “We are grateful for the support our community leaders are giving to help our neighbors in need.” Funds raised locally will support local programs and services. 82 cents of every dollar that is donated goes back to programs and services.
“Over the last several years since I have served on the Advisory Board at The Salvation Army, we have asked community leaders to volunteer to ring our bell to raise money to help us provide for the needy in our community,” said Ruth Thumbtzen, Advisory Board Member of The Salvation Army in Newport. “However, we had never had a specific time that many would be around the island ringing the bell for our red kettles at the same time. When I started approaching leaders last year, I got such a positive response, that Lt. Bang asked me if I would organize Community Leaders Red Kettle Day again this year. I think it is evident in our community that people are willing to do extra work to help make life better for others when asked.”
“It is a pleasure and honor to team-up with The Salvation Army for their Community Leaders Red Kettle Day. The symbol of The Salvation Army’s distinctive “Red Kettle” is an iconic reminder that the season of giving and helping our brothers and sisters in need has begun. It was great ringing the bell, talking with the community, and most importantly, giving back and serving the City of Newport and its residents,” said Rep. Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73, Newport, Middletown).
"Community Leaders Red Kettle Day is important to me because it is about community,” said Colleen Burns Jermain, Ed.D., Superintendent of Newport Public Schools. “All of us as neighbors will be helping each other and will be there for each other during one of the most wonderful times of year- and also one that may cause the most stress and concerns for families and those struggling in our community. I love that the funds stay with the community and that all of us can show our holiday spirit and commitment to each other by participating in this worthy cause and annual event. It just makes one feel good to be out there ringing that bell.” In 2017, community leaders raised nearly $2,000 in donations.
Nationally, more than 30 million Americans are served by The Salvation Army each year. In December of 1891, a Salvation Army Captain in San Francisco resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner to the area’s poor by collecting donations in a large pot. By Christmas of 1895, the kettle was used in 30 Salvation Army Corps in various sections of the west coast. The iconic red kettles are now used in 128 countries throughout the world.