DENVER (CBS4) – With Christmas just around the corner, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign is in full swing. This year the Salvation Army wants to capitalize on digital payments as waning foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores diminishes its holiday fundraising, which historically has relied on shoppers dropping their spare change into the charitable organization’s signature red kettles.
“They’ve been pretty stable and starting to go down slightly and we’re hoping this is the answer to that,” said Rachael Fowler, spokesperson for The Salvation Army Intermountain Division.
Those who wish to make a donation will now be able to use digital payment systems including Apple Pay and Google Pay when Salvation Army bell-ringers hit the streets starting the day after Thanksgiving.
“Red Kettle” signs will display smart chips and QR codes that allow shoppers to “bump” or scan their phones to make donations. The Salvation Army has dubbed the collection process “Kettle Pay.” The organization will also continue to accept cash.
“This is so simple, everyone always has their phone in their hand. You just tap and you can keep walking, you don’t have to stay at the kettle stand. You can get into the warmth of the store, wherever you’re at,” Fowler told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.
The Salvation Army serves 23 million people across the United States, and several hundred thousand in the Denver Metro area.
The charitable campaign is one of the largest in the world, with donations going toward providing toys for kids, clothing for the homeless, food for the hungry and more.
“We’re here for everyone in need. We serve everyone who comes through our doors. We want to serve everyone. We want to make sure every child wakes up with a toy underneath their tree and a warm meal for Christmas,” said Fowler.