Economy

November 25, 2011 7:05 AM

Salvation Army’s Season Passes alert bell ringers that you’ve donated

You’ve been there before. You drop a buck or two in the Salvation Army kettle outside the hardware store. You dig into your pocket again as you walk by the gal ringing the bell at the mall. Then when you pass by the guy collecting donations outside the grocery store, you want to tell him you gave twice already in the last hour. Such is the reason for the Season Pass button being sold by the Kansas and Western Missouri Division of the Salvation Army. Give $20, pin the button to your coat, and smile without shame the next time you pass a red kettle. It’s an idea borrowed from the Salvation Army in western Wisconsin, where it was dubbed a guilt-free button. “So many people aren’t carrying cash anymore,” said Amanda Waters, the Salvation Army’s community relations director. “You feel kind of bad if you don’t have money. This is kind of a pass.” The buttons can be bought at Hy-Vee supermarkets, Roger’s Sporting Goods in Liberty and DealBug.com. Elsewhere around the country this year, the Salvation Army is taking credit-card payments at test sites in Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago and New York. The organization has teamed up with Square, a mobile payments startup that has a little card-reader that plugs into smartphones and other mobile devices.

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