Reflecting on the joy from the Red Kettle Season, 2022

Jan 12, 2023 | by Willow Pecha

On November 11th, we started our 6 week long Red Kettle Campaign – most well known for bell ringing!

We kicked off the season with our Rock the Red Kettle Concert at the La Crosse Center, featuring local favorites: Dan Sebranek and Mary, TUGG, and Glass Stiletto. As the bands played their tunes, we also had a silent auction, with interest items such as paintings, a guitar from Dave’s Guitar Shop, Mathews Bow, a signed Green Bay Packer’s Football, and more! It turned more eventful as people put on their dancing shoes. Read more about it here: Rock the Red Kettle


Throughout the season, we had many generous sponsors for Match Days at the physical Red Kettles. Sponsors pledged donation amounts and asked the community to donate – hoping to match the donation amount. Match Days included Break the Bank (banks and credit unions), Smiles for a cause (dentists), Building Futures (contractors), Ensure Hope (Insurances), Community Match Day, and other businesses that chose special days of our own. We had a day totaling to over $20,000! However, bell ringing and Match Days could not happen without the partnerships of businesses in the area. Thank you to the physical locations that continue to partner with us to allow the Red Kettles at your sites! View our sponsors of the season here: Match Day Sponsors


Over 850 Bell Ringers showed up to support the efforts of The Salvation Army this kettle season – that’s nearly 3,000 hours worth of bell ringing! Whether people showed up with a smile or in a Grinch ‘fit, with their friendly donkeys or pigs, with their families or with friends, the sound of bells brings joy to the community. We love hearing the stories of generational bell ringing, bell ringing because The Salvation Army has helped a member of their family in the past, or simply to volunteer. Thank you to our bell ringers of the season, we couldn’t do it without you.

A new challenge to the season was the Kettle Design Competition. The La Crosse Fire Department, the La Crosse Police Department, and Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance competed to design the most unique and fun kettle they could! The community then voted (donated) to their favorite kettle either virtually or on the team’s days of ringing. It was a fun and new event to the season, creating stronger partnerships and community involvement. Each designed kettle brought something unique, however, the Fire Department prevailed and was named the first Kettle Design Champion! They earned a Champion plaque and a spot on our Champion board located in our office. Learn more about it here: Kettle Design Competition


During Kettle Season, we hire four awesome additions to our Development Team. They go by the name “Kettle Coordinators” and they help us set up all kettles and supplies at the locations, visit with bell ringers and bring hot chocolate, and so much more throughout the season to ensure success. They hold shining smiles and keep the joy of the season! Their time is invaluable and we appreciate their dedication to Doing the Most Good!

With a big goal to achieve, we are thankful for a generous community that helped us reach over $250,000 through the Red Kettles! The donations from the season allow The Salvation Army of La Crosse County to continue assisting the most vulnerable in our community. The funds raised during this season account for 1/3 of our budget and directly impact the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly functions: meal program, case management, and many other social services. Read more about our programs and services here: What We Do

Our efforts to #LoveBeyond go further than this Christmas season. Continue to #LoveBeyond the barriers. Thank you for joining us for the 2022 Red Kettle Season. Keep in touch and we'll see you next season!

"Love Beyond was our theme this Christmas, and that is what we saw. I thank our many supporters who went beyond expectations by giving financially and through their valuable time standing at a kettle ringing a bell. We saw some wonderfully creative ideas that demonstrated love beyond ourselves that will radiate out through our programs, to those less fortunate in our community.” -Major Alan Hellstrom



View pictures from the season here: The Salvation Army of La Crosse County - Flickr

View the Winter Report here: 2022 Winter Report

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