JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - This is the season of giving, but a lot of us don't carry cash or even change to give. When all you carry is plastic, it makes it difficult to help out charities like The Salvation Army. Thanks to additions to some red kettle locations it is easier for everyone to donate what they can. At some locations in Jonesboro you can now use your debit or credit card to make your donation!
"I think it's a wonderful idea being able to swipe a card and make a donation and not have to worry about digging in your pocket for change," said donor Curtis Steele.
While dropping in change and cash is still welcome, Captain Mark Boatman with The Salvation Army said they hope adding credit and debit card machines to some kettles makes it easier on donors.
"You can use Visa, Mastercard and Discover whether it is a debit or credit card," said Boatman.
There are four of the enhanced kettles in Jonesboro. One of the credit and debit machines can be found at the Highland Road Wal-Mart, the Parker Road Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and Kroger.
"Just like any avenue of fundraising we're hoping that this will give additional means for other people to give to The Salvation Army in ways that maybe are not the most traditional," said Boatman.
Boatman said the use of credit and debit card machines is still a growing concept and is fairly new for The Salvation Army. Using one of the credit card machines is easy. They are very similar to those found in stores. You swipe your card and follow the instructions on the screen. You choose how much you would like to donate and then a receipt is printed. You put one copy of the receipt in the bucket and keep the other one for your records.
"One thing a credit card donation offers that a cash donation in the kettle doesn't is to allow people to take their donation and be able to show that it is something that they can deduct on their taxes," said Boatman.
And it is something donors do find helpful.
"Being able to prove that you've given a donation and just to make it easier for people to express their generosity," said Steele.
So far this holiday season they've collected about $30,000. They've set a goal of $125,000 that they are hoping to reach. Last year $102,000 was collected and that money is used for their holiday program as well as programs throughout the year.
In addition to the enhanced buckets there are other ways you can donate. You can text "give" to the number "85944" and the donation is a standard $10 that will appear on your cell phone bill at the end of the month. Boatman said The Salvation Army goes by the area code on the cell phone that texts in the donation to determine where the donation will be sent.