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Red potjies and brass bands to greet shoppers this Christmas

Monday 28 November 2016 I For immediate release

Salvation Army brass bands and Christmas carols in shopping malls go together. This year will see the start of a new tradition from the well-known organisation in the form of a red potjie pot to receive donations from the public.

Salvation Army PR Secretary, Major Carin Holmes explains that the red potjies are South Africa’s answer to a well-known Salvation Army custom in the United States of America of using a red kettle to collect donations from the public.

The practice goes back to 1891 when a Salvation Army Captain, Joseph McFee, decided to give a free Christmas dinner to destitute and poverty-stricken people in San Francisco, USA.

As he pondered how to fund the project, his recalled his days of being a sailor in Liverpool, England. He remembered how, when the ships came in, passers-by tossed a coin or two into a large, iron kettle called “Simpson’s Pot” to help the poor.

He placed a similar pot at a ferry landing in the city, with a sign that read, “Keep the pot boiling”, and soon had enough money to properly feed the poor at Christmas.

The custom spread, and today, the kettle, painted in Salvation Army red, raises funds to feed more than 4.5 million people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas periods in the USA.

Now the Southern Africa branch of The Salvation Army will utilize the idea to raise funds for the local Salvation Army units to serve those who are suffering in our communities.

Major Holmes said: “Officers and members of the church will be on hand in selected shopping malls before Christmas to encourage the public to generously support the important work that the organisation does.

“This includes providing food, clothing and shelter for the most vulnerable people in society, such as the poor and elderly, work amongst human trafficking victims, caring for children in creches, homes for the elderly and abandoned children, counselling for substance abusers, and emergency services, among many others,” she said.
So, to remember that “local is lekker” and at the same time participate in the joy of sharing through the Salvation Army, get on down to the shops and look for the red potjie.

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by love for God, and its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs without discrimination.

The Southern Africa Territory of The Salvation Army encompasses four countries – South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland – and the island of St Helena. Its officers, soldiers and full-time employees provide their spiritual and community services through approximately 230 corps (churches), societies and outposts, as well as through schools, hospitals, institutions for children, street children, the elderly, men and abused women, and daycare, goodwill, rehabilitation and social centres.


Media Contact: Ruth Coggin
Tel: 011-487-0026
Cell: 082-903-5819
CLICK HERE to e-mail Ruth Coggin

Client Contact: Major Carin Holmes
Public Relations Secretary
Tel: 011-718-6745
Cell: 082-994-4351
CLICK HERE to e-mail Carin Holmes