In an increasingly cashless society, the Salvation Army is changing with the times.
Beginning this holiday season, the charitable organization will accept financial donations through Apple Pay and Google Pay at its red kettle stations around the country.
Around for more than a century, the kettles — and accompanying bell-ringers — have long been a symbol of November and December giving. The organization will debut the new system, called Kettle Pay, at select area Walmart stores next week.
“Kettle Pay makes it even easier for donors to join the Salvation Army’s fight for good,” said Lt. Ty Baze, coordinator for the organization’s red kettle network in Las Vegas. “It provides an opportunity for people to fight for the thousands of Southern Nevadans experiencing poverty.”
The kettles, according to local Salvation Army spokeswoman Leslee Rogers, will be out in force in the Las Vegas Valley beginning Nov. 29. Kettle donations, which amounted to $300,000 in Las Vegas last year, account for 70% of the local group’s cash contributions. The goal this year is $330,000.
Some Las Vegas-area Walmart shoppers will be able to see the new system — a digital tag placed on kettles or kettle signage — during a one-day Salvation Army toy drive on Saturday.
The drive will be at stores in Las Vegas, at 7200 Arroyo Crossing, 5200 S. Fort Apache Road, 3615 S. Rainbow Boulevard, 8060 W. Tropical Parkway, 6464 N. Decatur Boulevard, and 1807 W. Craig Road; in Henderson at 540 Marks St. and 300 E. Lake Mead Parkway; and at the Pahrump and Mesquite Walmart locations.
A short list of other stores in the valley — including some Hobby Lobby, Big Lots and J.C. Penney locations — will also have kettles set up in advance of Nov. 29, Rogers said.
Those who don’t have Apple Pay or Google Pay-enabled cellphones will also have the option this year to scan a QR code. The Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign will run through Christmas Eve.
Donations made in Southern Nevada, Baze said, will go toward programs that help feed the hungry, offer shelter for the homeless, and provide financial assistance for families in need during the holiday season.
The Salvation Army, according to the organization’s webpage, assists about 25 million Americans annually.