Over the last several years, increasing numbers of Christmas shoppers have apologized to Salvation Army bell ringers for not donating spare change or cash. Shoppers explained that they used credit cards to buy gifts, and, therefore, didn’t receive change or cash back from purchases to put in Red Kettles. In fact, many shoppers admitted that they no longer carry currency.
In response to the I’ve-no-cash-to-share confessions, the Salvation Army now offers two kinds of kettles. Standing alongside traditional Red Kettles are “plastic kettles” or wireless card readers which accept debit or credit cards. Donations are also accepted at virtual Red Kettles on the Salvation Army website.
Either way, traditional currency or credit card donations, the money goes to feed and shelter hungry families, and provide Christmas gifts for children. Andrew and Hannah would work extra chores around the house in November, and have fun contributing their earnings in Red Kettles as we shopped. “Thank you and God bless” from bell ringers made it seem like we were soldiers in William and Catherine Booth’s army.
Here’s one more way to donate—by cell phone. Text SALARMY to 90999, and a five dollar donation to the Salvation Army will be added to your next cell phone bill. I think that William Booth, a creative thinker who constantly came up with innovative ways to spread the gospel, would approve of the new ways to gather resources to serve others in need.