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Your donations to The Salvation Army support programs that provide life changing services to the local community. They allow us to staff our shelters, fill our pantries, and provide gifts to children and families. This holiday season, California South is in dire need of generosity, and your donations can help. It’s only through these collective, small acts of kindness that we are able to make big, direct impact.

You can donate goods for our family store operations, or make monetary donations that will be used to address the greatest, immediate need. There is no better act of kindness this Christmas than giving from the heart.


View Volunteer Opportunities

From its inception, The Salvation Army has relied heavily on volunteers who support its programs. Often referred to as “the army behind The Army," volunteers play a crucial role in The Salvation Army's ability to provide quality social services for the entire community.

Volunteers are valuable assets in The Salvation Army's efforts to meet the changing needs of our world. Through the skills and experience they bring to The Army, volunteers make significant contributions to society by positively impacting the lives of those they assist. Salvation Army volunteers change lives, uplift families and support communities throughout our nation everyday.


We want to empower you to turn your events, organizations and campaigns into vessels for “Doing The Most Good.” Through our fundraising options, you can specify the community and cause that will benefit from your initiative. Multiply the impact of your donations by bringing others to fight against poverty and hunger.


The Salvation Army Kettles

History of Salvation Army Kettles

In 1891, Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee was distraught because so many poor individuals in San Francisco were going hungry. During the holiday season, he resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner for the destitute and poverty-stricken. He only had one major hurdle to overcome — funding the project.

Where would the money come from, he wondered. He lay awake nights, worrying, thinking, praying about how he could find the funds to fulfill his commitment of feeding 1,000 of the city's poorest individuals on Christmas Day. As he pondered the issue, his thoughts drifted back to his sailor days in Liverpool, England. He remembered how at Stage Landing, where the boats came in, there was a large, iron kettle called "Simpson's Pot" into which passers-by tossed a coin or two to help the poor.

The next day Captain McFee placed a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing at the foot of Market Street. Beside the pot, he placed a sign that read, "Keep the Pot Boiling." He soon had the money to see that the needy people were properly fed at Christmas.

Six years later, the kettle idea spread from the west coast to the Boston area. That year, the combined effort nationwide resulted in 150,000 Christmas dinners for the needy. In 1901, kettle contributions in New York City provided funds for the first mammoth sit-down dinner in Madison Square Garden, a custom that continued for many years. Today in the U.S., The Salvation Army assists more than four-and-a-half million people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas time periods.

Captain McFee's kettle idea launched a tradition that has spread not only throughout the United States, but all across the world. Kettles are now used in such distant lands as Korea, Japan, Chile and many European countries. Everywhere, public contributions to Salvation Army kettles enable the organization to continue its year-round efforts at helping those who would otherwise be forgotten.

Drop change, expect change.

The simple act of dropping a quarter in our kettles support life changing programs for the hungry, homeless, and hopeless.

Volunteer to be a Christmas Ambassador

The simple act of dropping a quarter in The Salvation Army's iconic red kettles is supporting life changing endeavors that support the homeless, the hungry, the lost and those without hope. Email us today!