The Salvation Army kicked off their Christmas Kettle Campaign drive on Nov. 27 at the Central Mall.

Captain Ernest Hull of the Lawton Salvation Army started off the campaign with more than just a little bell and kettle, he brought out the MacArthur High School Drum Line for assistance to help create buzz that Christmas is in the air and so are the kettles.

The Kettle campaign started in 1891 when Captain Joseph McFee wanted to provide a free Christmas dinner for the poverty-stricken citizens of San Francisco. However Captain McFee lacked the funds for the meal and wondered how he would acquire the money for the feast.

He then remembered from his time as a sailor that he saw a kettle pot in Liverpool, England where people would toss coins in that would go out to help the poor. Capt. McFee then decided to put a pot out in Oakland Ferry with a sign that read “Keep the pot boiling.” Six years later that idea would spread to other areas in the US.

Capt. Hull explained that the campaign for the Salvation Army helps citizens in need for them to have a warm meal to eat and a place to stay. He also explained that of all the donations they receive from the campaign the Salvation Army uses 40% of collected funds to run their operations.

“Our requests are up for all of our services, we’re seeing about a 61% increase.” Capt. Hull said.

The organization also has another program that goes on during the Christmas season known as the Angel Tree program.

“The Angel Tree program has been going on since the early 70s, we put the program together to help the needy children in our community to receive gifts for Christmas.” Capt. Hull said.

James Meeks, Townsquare Media
James Meeks, Townsquare Media

Capt. Hull states that their Angel Tree is located in front of Old Navy in Central Mall where people can take an angel from the tree to get the child’s clothes size and a toy that they want.

For those that wish to make other donations for the program bring the unwrapped gifts to the Salvation Army post located at 1306 E Ave.

The Salvation Army will continue the Angel Tree drive until Dec. 14 and the Kettle Campaign until the end of the year.

You can also make an online donation to the Salvation Army at To make a donation that will to the Salvation Army Lawton branch go to

Check out the video of the MacArthur High School Drum Line

Contributor- Nancy Mace