Salvation Army hopes to boost kettle collections with credit card machines

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- You have another way to make the holidays a little merrier for the Salvation Army even if you don't have any spare change in your pocket.

This year, the Red Kettle Campaign is going high-tech with these new credit card machines. The Salvation Army here in Wilmington rented three machines for the next two months, so if you don't have any cash or change, all you have to do is swipe your credit card.

The Salvation Army says it's a move that may boost contributions.

"Honestly, the average donation to our Christmas Kettle is the loose change, the dollar bill and so forth. Most statistics show that gifts made through credit card tend to be a little bit larger than that," Maj. Richard Watts said.

The machines will be in use starting Black Friday. One will be at Independence Mall at Belk, another at a Wilmington area Walmart and one probably in Brunswick County.

It costs the Salvation Army about $100 to rent the three machines. If all goes well, the charity may purchase some for next year.

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If anybody really wants to know what the Salvation Army does with that money they collect from those bell ringers I challenge you to spend 1 week in the emergency shelter. They house people who need a hand up to get back on their feet. They help people who are getting ready to have a utility turned off.Or maybe they can't afford rent for the month.Or they have no food in their pantry.Or they have no clothes for their children.Or maybe they are completely without shelter,they know they can go their for a hot dinner!

OK, I know there will be some who call me Scrooge, but the locations mentioned in the article are the exact places I will avoid.

I already give to my favorite charities, and I hate some guy ringing a bell in my ear and pressuring me to donate. These guys are everywhere. and they drive me nuts!

what's driving you nuts? Maybe you should just stay inside.

Yeah Scrooge is right these organizations who clearly irritate you are the same ones who provide presents and gifts to children and families who are less fortunate and that otherwise would go without. Keep your thoughts to yourself was it really necessary to post something like this!! No one is pressuring you to donate There have been many times I have had to pass them by and was unable to contribute but still I am glad that they are there because they are doing a great service to this community. Obviously you have no idea what the true meaning of Christmas really is.

I personally know a woman who was a bell-ringer a few years back as part of her court ordered community service. Not only was she PAID to stand there, but as an employee she was also given first pick of the donated items that they received. She did NOT need any assistance and yet she brought home 3 new coats...the tags still on them and baby food, toys and clothes for her daughter. These were items that should have gone to the NEEDY not the GREEDY. Then came the Christmas parties...there were THREE Salvation Army parties that she attended that year, one was so large it was held in the UNCW Ballroom. I think the money for the parties could have been spent on food and clothing for the needy in our area, not a shindig to say "thank you" to the volunteers and the employees.

That's a pretty sharp response to someone who simply doesn't care much for bell ringers (of which I hold the same opinion).

Being such a self righteous big mouth know it all,...think you can tone it down a notch? You have about as much class as a lawn flamingo.

I guess I should have warned you. If I turned out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I said.

You obviously can't comprehend what I wrote. I already said I donate to other charities of my own choosing. Just because I don't choose to donate to the Salvation Army bell ringers doesn't mean I don't donate at all. I donate to several organizations which help provide gifts to kids at Christmas, as well as other times during the year. I don't just give only at Christmas time.

Christmas Spirit? The true Christmas spirit is NOT trying to degrade someone who has a different opinion than you, and trying to make them appear selfish, anti-community, and non-Christian.

I don't have to keep my thoughts to myself, this is a public forum, and I'm allowed to voice my opinion, whether you agree with it or not.

I don’t know what makes you so stupid, but it really works! Have a great Thanksgiving.

I rarely agree with you, but this time, is different!

I absolutely agree with Our United States Constitution First Amendment Right to Free Speech. Say ANYTHING you want, it is your right, thanks to our Veterans and those individuals who have died while defending those rights, and those who are still POW/MIA in Southeast Asia.

Say whatever you want, but be aware that there is always hostility in your tone and it comes across ALL of the time that way.

I am very proud of the Salvation Army roots here in this region and it is indeed a place where they live up to their motto, "where we do the most good."

I love bells, they say that it means an angel was born! RING AWAY, maybe we can rid the earth of all the nasty secular devils.

Merry Christmas, to one and to all, even Scrooge20.

Thank you for your viewpoint. I agree that you and I seldom agree on anything, but that doesn't mean I don't respect your posts. There have been many times that your posts have made me re-think an issue, so I'm grateful that you have caused me to stretch some of my beliefs.

I'm aware that I have a tendency to be hostile to those who call me an idiot or try to make me feel inferior or incompetent. I can't apologize for that and will probably do it again. But I do apologize if I come off sounding hostile in ALL my posts. I certainly don't mean to sound that way. I suppose I'm overly passionate on the articles I'm commenting on. But now that you have called it to my attention, I'll try to be less hostile and concentrate more on getting my point across.

Thank you for your comments, and Merry Christmas.

Since when do the Salvation Army workers pressure you? All I've ever seen them do is stand there and ring their bell. The only time they've ever spoken to me was to say "thank you" when I drop some change into the bucket.

Or, is their mere presence or the fact that they ring a bell what you call pressure?

I've tried to walk straight past them (without conversation) on numerous occasions, but several of them (not all) have tried to engage me in conversation to warm me up to donate. Some people may not feel pressured by that...I do.

How do you manage to walk erect without a backbone? These are not exactly intimidating people.

I make Scrooge look like a liberal Democrat, yet I dropped a buck in one of the pots yesterday and will likely do it a few more times before the holidays are over...

...and I'd do it even more often if they'd hire hot lookin' babes instead of fat old men!

Someone saying hello doesn't pressure me. Someone saying hello to try to get money out of me does. If you want to drop your money in their bucket, fine. To each their own. Why nail me to the cross just because I choose to give to other organizations besides bell ringers?

This is your second sexist comment in as many days (yesterday it was about women being like buses, as I recall). So by your last comment, you feel more comfortable handing your money over to a "hot lookin'" babe than a man? Is this because you think of women as prostitutes? You know, being a woman is a terribly difficult task...especially since it consists primarily in dealing with men.

What a great idea! I'd probably donate more if they had pretty women ringing those bells. Maybe dressed up in sexy Mrs. Claus outfits...

Save your breath...You'll need it to blow up your date.

Now what in the world would an attractive, sexy woman want with you two? Sounds more like wishful thinking.

"Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition." ~Timothy Leary

God forbid someone try to - gasp - talk to you. Stay home where you don't have to deal with the public, if you object so much to someone trying to talk to you. What'd they do, wish you a merry Christmas? The nerve of them!

But again, they've never done that to me. When I've walked by, the most I've gotten is a friendly nod of the head.

They're talking to me (and everyone else) to try to get us to drop money in their bucket. That's their job. They're being PAID to do it. That's the reality of it.

I choose to give my money to other charitable organizations. If you want to donate to bell ringers, knock yourself out. But those who choose not to donate to them should never be made to feel guilty. It's a personal choice. I choose not to. That doesn't make me a bad person. It just means I have other organizations that I have determined to be my priority.

Merry Christmas.