LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — It's that time of year again when you start seeing the Salvation Army's iconic red kettles. This year, kettle ringers are also using a new device called the DipJar to collect donations. The new device lets you donate using your credit and debit cards.
"My wife's got a debit card." said Red Kettle ringer Jack Ruckel. "I don't even have one." Ruckels said he understands why DipJars are needed.
"It's a thing and you either got to get in it or be on the outside," Ruckel said. "I'm 80 years old so I've been doing pretty good without it."
The DipJars are a new tool the Salvation Army in Lafayette is using for its annual Red Kettle Campaign.
"It's good to give people options on how to give," said Salvation Army Lt. Steven Dahl. "Since the card is the prevalent way of paying for everything from groceries to bills anymore, I think it's imperative that we do this."
Instead of dropping your cash in the red kettle, this device takes your debit card. The kettles are programmed to receive $5.
Ruckel said he's noticed the amount of people carrying cash has gone down.
"I've had them even tell me out there. They said Oh, I don't have no cash. I just got a debit. So that will be good. I can see where that's gonna help," said Ruckel.
Ruckel believes the new technology will increase the number of donations received.
"Yes, yes," said Ruckel. "Oh yeah."
Dahl said the goal is to reach $129,000 this season. You can donate money at the red kettles, online, or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
"All the money that's raised here, stays here," said Dahl. "It goes from everything from rental assistance to food pantry, to kids programming."
Kettle Ringers will be collecting donations until Christmas Eve. Volunteers are still needed this season. Ruckel says he would like to see more volunteers this year and in years to come. Even though he's been ringing the bell for more than a decade, he will not be stopping anytime soon.
"Yes," Ruckel said. "Long as I'm able, I'll be there."
Kettle Ringers will be collecting donations until Christmas Eve.