Salvation Army goes digital with Red Kettle campaign

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — When you hear that bell and see that big red kettle, you know it’s the season for giving!

The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, which originally began in 1891, is well known across the country. It’s the biggest fundraiser for the organization, with smiling faces stationed at almost every mall, grocery, and super store.

But times are changing… and if you’re like Steven Alderson, you probably don’t have dollar bills on you.

“I hardly ever carry cash really,” Alderson said.

You may want to give back, but don’t have the money on you to put in that red pot. That’s why this year the Salvation Army is going digital.

Captain Betty Lester works with the Salvation Army in Beckley.

“Most people don’t carry cash anymore with them and they are having no way of paying at the kettle,” Lester said. “But now if you have the app on your phone, all you have to do is go to the wallet on your phone, if you have your credit card information there you pull all that up. And you take your phone and put it up to the kettle, the little thing on the side of the kettle.”

The sign above the kettle now has two digital options: Google Pay and Apple Pay. If you have the apps, you simply tap or scan the sign.

Your phone will bring you to the Salvation Army website where you can pick a set donation or type in your own amount. Then the money is instantly sent to your local Salvation Army Chapter.

“It will increase the intake of the kettle season. Because you can’t put it in the kettle necessarily but it still counts as Christmas income so that’s a big help to us right there,” Lester said.

Some people say this option will encourage them to contribute, just because it’s convenient.

“It will help them raise a lot more money, allow people to have more opportunity to raise money or donate,” Alderson said.

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