Salvation Army introduces “Kettle Pay” this holiday season


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Snow is on the ground, Christmas music is playing, decorations are out, so you know another symbol of the holidays can’t be far behind.

We’re talking about the red, iconic Salvation Army kettles. But you’ll notice something different about the them this season. They’ve gone high-tech to keep up with our changing lifestyles.

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“Nationally, for a couple years now, we’ve realized people do want to give Christmas time but nobody carries cash anymore, very few people carry cash. I know I don’t carry cash most of the time,” says the Lexington Salvation Army’s area coordinator, Major William Garrett.

After seeing a steady decline in donations over the years, the Salvation Army knew it had to do something and that something was to go high-tech. So beginning this holiday season you can donate at the kettles even if you don’t have any cash.

“When you walk up to a Salvation Army kettle or if you see your little counter kettles at some of your local stores, banks, you’ll see this sticker on it,” says Garrett.

He’s talking about a sticker featuring a chip and QR code called “Kettle Pay”.

Donating with “Kettle Pay” is as easy as taking your smartphone and putting it up against the chip where it will direct you to a secure website where you can donate whatever amount of money you would like. You do have to have Apple Pay or Google Pay to do so.

The chip only works for newer smartphones but the QR code will work for any smartphone with a camera.

“This just makes that other opportunity for people to give and give quickly. You don’t have to stand there and wait for everything. As soon as it’s registered you can take your phone and start walking off to your car or into the store and complete your transaction,” explains Garrett.

The Army’s website has pre-selected donation amounts but gives the option to put in any amount you want.

“I believe people do still want to give and we’re trying to make it easy for them and really still make them feel feel like they’re part of helping their community, helping those in need,” says Garrett.

Be on the lookout for the kettles, “Kettle Pay” sticker and all, after Thanksgiving.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at