CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - That time of year is back when the Salvation Army bell ringers are collecting donations. However this year, you can give back without having cash on hand.
As you are out shopping this holiday season, all you need is your credit card or smartphone to donate when you see the Salvation Army kettle stand.
"It’s good to reach out and help especially around Christmas time,” Same Glass, a Salvation Army bell ringer, said.
This year, the nonprofit is making it easier than ever to help.
"We've been hearing for years now that we need to find a way for people to donate by credit card on kettle because a lot of people don't carry around cash anymore,” Salvation Army Major Walter Strong said.
Volunteers have two new methods. People can use the ‘dip jar’ or their smartphone.
"A donor can come and just stick their credit card in pull a credit card out and it makes a $5 donation and if they want to give more than that they just stick it in however many times they want to stick it in,” Strong said. "If you have a smartphone if its set up for Google or Apple Pay you can bump the kettle stand sign and it will take you right to our website where you can choose how much you want to donate.”
It's still early in the season but Strong is already seeing the results. “Not having cash was maybe an excuse not give you know I don't have cash so we're taking that excuse away.”
For volunteers like Glass seeing people give back is his favorite part. "Seeing people's reactions when they give its awesome that people love to give and it's a great time to do it you know.”
All the money raised in Charlottesville stays in the area.
"Just seeing the generosity of folks realizing there’s a lot of people in our community that are a lot worse off than most of us and needing a helping hand and people generous enough to give,” Strong said.
Strong said the Salvation Army still needs volunteers this holiday season. The shifts are only two hours long. If you are interested in signing up, you can click here.