The Salvation Army's Red Kettles will officially open for donations for the Christmas season today at 1 p.m. at the Market Street United at 98th and Quaker. It's a tradition that dates back over a hundred years. According to this website in 1891, San Francisco's Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee was overwhelmed by the poor and wanted to provide food for Christmas but had no money for the meals. Tossing and turning in bed that night the captain remembered "Simpson's Pot", a pot used for taking donations dockside when he was a young sailor in Liverpool, England.

So, he adapted the idea for the Salvation Army, placing a sign that read "Keep the Pot Boiling" and collected enough money for Christmas dinners for the poor. The red kettle was born! And history shows 82 cents of every dollar donated is used to help supply food, clothes, etc. for the disadvantaged. You'll see the kettles at locations throughout Lubbock and the South Plains through Christmas Day. Texas Tech's Raider Red makes the first donation with former head Lady Raider Coach Marsha Sharp as the inaugural bell ringer.