As more and more Vancouver Islanders opt for cashless transactions amid the pandemic, the Salvation Army has come up with a new way for people to safely donate to its annual Christmas kettles campaign.
The Salvation Army has outfitted a handful of its kettles with contactless payment technology created by Canadian start-up tiptap, which lets people donate by simply tapping their debt or credit card.
All people need to do now is tap their card in front of the designated spot and they will automatically make a donation to the Salvation Army for $5. There is also an option to tap up to 10 times on the same unit if people wish to make more than a $5 donation using their card.
However, cash, change, and cheques are still accepted and extra cleaning protocols and safety measures for volunteers and staff are in place.
Patricia Mamic, the Salvation Army’s director of public and government affairs, said with the pandemic ongoing, they had to come up with a new way for people to donate.
“We had to innovate this year with the changes and the safety protocols and make it easier for people to donate so when they do see a kettle in the community that they don’t have concerns about getting too close to it or the people that work there,” said Patricia Mamic, the Salvation Army’s director of public and government affairs.
On Tuesday, the Salvation Army officially kicked off its 130th edition of its Christmas Kettle Campaign, with members from the organization as well as Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes taking part in an official launch in front of the district’s municipal hall.
Haynes, who made the ceremonial first donation, is encouraging anyone who has the means to donate whatever amount they can to help those in need make it through these difficult times.
“I know it’s tough if you’re on slim budgets, anything you can afford to give, a few dollars, 10 dollars, five dollars, if you can please give.”
Money from the campaign goes towards helping feed, clothe and shelter vulnerable members of the community. With COVID-19 still spreading steadily throughout the province,
With 35 kettle locations across Greater Victoria, the fundraiser is Salvation Army’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
The donations made now have to carry the organizations in the months ahead, and with the pandemic putting more people below the poverty line, this year’s need could reach historic levels.
“For people living in poverty it can a very, bleak, cold, dark season for them and this year in particular it is. We’re seeing up to 200 to 300 percent increases in some our communities around the province, so the need is greater than ever and we don’t see an end to that.” Mamic said.
The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign has been around since 1891. has been a symbol of help and hope during the holiday season since the 1890s.