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Spare change: Salvation Army kettles now take credit cards

Jim Price, director of development for the Salvation Army, sets up a credit card poster over a kettle.
Jim Price, director of development for the Salvation Army, sets up a credit card poster over a kettle. Charlotte Observer / MCT

Bell ringers collecting spare change in red kettles have been a holiday symbol in Charlotte for over a century.

This year, they're taking MasterCard, Visa and American Express.

The change is part of a "cashless kettles" pilot program that Charlotte's Salvation Army is testing at 10 busy locations. The first was installed late Friday at the Southern Christmas Show and the others will start appearing today outside stores, malls and businesses.

"We've been doing these kettles in Charlotte for 105 years, and for 105 years, they haven't changed," said Jim Price, the agency's director of development. "But we live in a time when a lot of us are carrying less cash, and we need to offer other options."

In this case, the option already has a track record. The Salvation Army chapter in Dallas-Fort Worth tested 12 cashless kettles last year and learned credit-card users gave an average of $14 versus the $2 given by cash donors.

Read the complete article at charotteobserver.com

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