Red Kettles accepting credit card payments in select cities

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120-year-old fundraiser to adopt Square in San Francisco, Chicago,Dallas and New York.

The Salvation Army will accept donations via smartphones equipped with Square credit card readers at its red kettles in select cities—one in each territory—this Christmas season.

The readers, provided by the San Francisco based company Square, Inc., will make donating to The Salvation Army easier and faster than ever before. Salvation Army bell ringers will use the devices on smartphones donated by Sprint® at locations in San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas and New York, allowing donors who don’t carry cash to give via credit card.

“This partnership brings together the history of the campaign in San Francisco and a great technology from Square that makes it easier than ever for people to donate,” said Major George Hood, national community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army. “With so many Americans continuing to struggle amidst the economic downturn, giving back to your neighbors in need has never been more important.”

The Square card reader is an easy-to-use device that plugs into the headphone jack of an iPhone, iPad, or Android device, and allows for safe and secure payments through a free downloadable application.

“We’re proud to be part of The Salvation Army’s longstanding holiday fundraising drive by enabling anyone to donate at a red kettle with a credit card,” said Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Square. “It is now easier than ever to give to The Salvation Army.”

The announcement was made Nov. 16 in San Francisco, marking the 120th anniversary of the Army’s iconic Red Kettle Campaign, which began on the wharf in San Francisco in 1891. Traditionally, kettle donations have been made in the form of pocket change and small denomination bills. In 2010, the Army’s kettles collected more than $142 million to help people in need with toys, food, clothing and other basic life necessities.

The Salvation Army’s eighth annual San Francisco Holiday Luncheon, held at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, honored the San Francisco Giants Baseball Organization’s ongoing support of the Army and other Bay Area initiatives. Over 400 attendees had the opportunity to give using the Square reader.

“The goal of the technology behind the Square reader is simple—make transactions easier, and this year, we plan to make donating to The Salvation Army as easy as possible for our donors,” Hood said.

On Thanksgiving Day in Dallas, Salvation Army bell ringers will also accept credit cards via Square readers as part of the National Red Kettle Kickoff campaign during the Dallas Cowboys game against the Miami Dolphins at Cowboys Stadium. The Red Kettle Kickoff is the 15th year the Dallas Cowboys and The Salvation Army have teamed up to support Americans in need. During the partnership, The Salvation Army has raised more than $1.4 billion to help people during Christmas and throughout the year.

“We’ve known Dallas Cowboys fans to be extremely generous, donating to The Salvation Army during the Red Kettle Campaign and year-round so they can help others,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson, Dallas Cowboys’ executive vice president of brand management and chairperson of The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board. “This year, we’re excited that it will be easier than ever for our fans to give to The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign through the use of Square readers.”

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