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November 18, 2018


What is the Christmas Kettle Campaign?

The tradition of Salvation Army kettles began in San Francisco in 1891 with Captain Joseph McFee. Captain McFee was looking for a way to help provide meals to families in need and recalled the “Simpson’s pot” – a large pot used in Liverpool, England into which passers-by threw charitable donations. Captain McFee decided to place a similar pot at the Oakland ferry landing. By strategically placing the kettle, he was able to attract donations from those going to and from the ferry boats.

Now, over 100 years have passed and beyond providing Christmas dinners, the money raised at kettles is also used to provide clothing, shelter, food, toys, financial assistance and counselling year-round. The Salvation Army’s holiday fund-raising activities play a crucial role in sharing the spirit of the season with families in need. The Salvation Army does its best to ensure that no family goes without food, no child is without presents under the tree and that Christmas is a time of hope and healing.

What is a Bell Ringer?

A Bell Ringer is someone who stands beside the iconic Salvation Army Christmas Kettle and receives donations from passers-by.  They ring bells where permitted to subtly remind people of those in need at Christmas in our community.  Kettles are typically located in malls and outside retail stores from mid-November to December 24th.

Where does the money go?

Donations collected in a Christmas Kettle stay in the neighbourhood in which it is located and are used to provide emergency food, addiction treatment, budget counselling, after school programs, and outreach to our friends living on the streets.  

There are 29 Salvation Army Community & Family Services Offices throughout the GTA region and each office serves a designated postal code area.  When you give to a Kettle, the funds stay in the community where the donation was made.  For example, a donation made at Fairview Mall will stay in the North York area to serve families in need in that community.  A donation made at a Kettle at the Eaton Centre will stay downtown and fund The Salvation Army Harbourlight Centre at Javis and Shuter.



I’m nervous to ask people for money.  Is that required?

No!  Bell Ringers are not asked to solicit donations.  Your job is to say “Thank You” and subtly ring the bell to remind people who pass by to give to those in need this Christmas.  

How long will my shift be?

Bell Ringers typically stand by a kettle 2 to 4 hours at both indoor and outdoor locations.  Ideally it is best if prospective volunteers can commit to 8 to 10 hours throughout the course of the Christmas Kettle Campaign which runs from mid-November to December 23th.

How old do I need to be to volunteer?

Bell Ringers can host a kettle at age 16 although some retail locations require that the volunteer be 19 years or older.  We can accept students at age 14 however we may ask them to partner with someone 16 or older.  Your local Kettle Coordinator can provide you with more information once you register.

Can our group sign up together to be Bell Ringers?

Absolutely!   Your team, staff, organization or school group can sign up to host a Kettle.  You can choose to host a kettle throughout the duration of the campaign or just for a day.  A sign can be created for the Kettle stand recognizing your group’s partnership with The Salvation Army.  For more information on signing up to volunteer as a group please email

How do I sign up to be a Bell Ringer in the GTA this Christmas?

On the map below, click on the Salvation Army shield icon that is closest to the neighbourhood you wish to volunteer.  A pop up box with the contact information for the Salvation Army Ministry Unit in that area will appear and you can click on the ‘apply now’ link to begin the on-line application process.  After your application is reviewed, you will be contacted by your neighbourhood Kettle Campaign Coordinator who will take you through the next steps to become an official Bell Ringer!

Newmarket - Northridge Community Church of The Salvation Army

15338 Leslie Street Aurora, Ontario L4G 7C4 (905)895-6276

The Salvation Army Richmond Hill Community Church

Mail only: 55 Newkirk Rd E Richmond Hill ON L4C 3G4 905-737-0496

The Salvation Army Oshawa Temple

570 Thornton Rd N Oshawa ON L1J 6T6 905-436-0011

The Salvation Army Whitby Community Church

710 McQuay Blvd Whitby ON L1P 1R3 905-668-7477

Ajax/Pickering - The Salvation Army Hope Community Church

35 King's Cr Ajax ON L1S 2L8 905-683-0454

The Salvation Army Community Church West Hill

305 Morrish Rd Scarborough ON M1C 1E9 416-282-5333

The Salvation Army Cedarbrae Community Church

2085 Ellesmere Rd Scarborough ON M1H 2W6 416-438-0991

The Salvation Army Korean Community Church

150 Railside Rd North York ON M3A 1A3 416-285-4735

The Salvation Army Scarborough Citadel

2021 Lawrence Ave E Scarborough ON M1R 2Z2 416-759-1721

The Salvation Army Brampton

9395 Bramalea Rd N Brampton ON L6S 4B7 905-791-1085

The Salvation Army Mississauga - Cornerstone Community Church

3020 Vanderbilt Rd Mississauga ON L5N 4W8 905-824-0450

The Salvation Army Erin Mills

2460 The Collegeway Mississauga ON L5L 1V3 905-820-6868

The Salvation Army Lakeshore Community Church

5 30th St Etobicoke ON M8W 3B7 416-251-8372

The Salvation Army Etobicoke Temple

2152 Kipling Ave Etobicoke ON M9W 4K9 416-743-3931

The Salvation Army Yorkwoods Community Church

20 Yorkwoods Gate Toronto ON M3N 1J8 416-631-7222

The Salvation Army North York Temple

25 Centre Ave North York ON M2M 2L4 416-225-7968

The Salvation Army Yorkminster Citadel

1 Lord Seaton Rd Toronto ON M2P 2C1 416-222-9110

The Salvation Army York Community Church

1100 Weston Rd Toronto ON M6N 3S4 416-766-1361

The Salvation Army Bloor Central

789 Dovercourt Rd Toronto ON M6H 2X4 416-531-8031

The Salvation Army East Toronto Citadel

107 Cedarvale Ave Toronto ON M4C 4J9 416-467-7416

The Salvation Army Corps 614

77 River St 2nd Floor Toronto ON M5A 3P1 416-646-2315

The Salvation Army Warehouse Mission

Ste 300 - 252 Carlton St Toronto ON M5A 2L1 647-225-3472 | 647-228-3472

The Salvation Army Toronto Harbour Light Ministries

160 Jarvis St Toronto ON M5B 2E1 416-360-6036

The Salvation Army Gateway

107 Jarvis St. 416-368-0324

The Bowmanville Salvation Army Community Church

75 Liberty St S Bowmanville ON L1C 2N8 905-623-3761

The Salvation Army Agincourt Community Church

3080 Birchmount Rd Scarborough ON M1W 3K3 416-497-7520 Ext. 220

The Salvation Army North Toronto Community Church

817 Mount Pleasant Rd Toronto ON M4P 2L1 416-488-7954

The Salvation Army Mississauga Temple

3173 Cawthra RdMississauga ON L5A 2X4 905-279-7525




For more information on booking the Christmas Brass Ensemble please contact Karen Bond at 416-321-2654 or

If you have any questions about the event, please contact us directly. We will respond for sure.

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