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At The Salvation Army, It's Hip to be Square!

Today, The Salvation Army announced that we’ll be accepting credit-card donations via on-site smartphones equipped with Square credit card readers at its Red Kettles in select cities this Christmas.

The readers, provided by the San Francisco based company Square, Inc., will make donating to The Salvation Army easier and faster than ever before. The devices will be used by Salvation Army bell ringers on smartphones donated by Sprint (NYSE:S) in San Francisco, here in the USA Western Territory. The technology will allow donors who don’t carry cash to give to us via credit card instead!

“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.”

Sprint is providing the smartphone devices to the Salvation Army as well as the wireless service that will power and mobilize the credit card 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 today 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. During its history, the iconic campaign has become a part of pop culture, being featured in movies, television shows, music and literature. The campaign uses a force of more than 25,000 bellringers to raise money from holiday shoppers throughout the country. Traditionally, those donations have been made in the form of pocket change and small denomination bills. In 2010, more than $142 million was donated to help people in need with toys, food, clothing and other basic life necessities.

The Salvation Army’s Eighth Annual San Francisco Holiday Luncheon, hosted at The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in San Francisco honored The San Francisco Giants Baseball Organization’s ongoing support of the Army and other Bay Area initiatives. Attendees had the opportunity to give using the Square reader. With over 400 members of the community in attendance, Salvation Army bell ringers took credit card donations in support of The Salvation Army’s 120th Red Kettle Campaign.

“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,” said Major Hood.

On Thanksgiving Day in Arlington, TX, Salvation Army bell ringers will also be accepting credit cards via Square readers as part of the Red Kettle Kickoff campaign during the Dallas Cowboys game against the Miami Dolphins at Cowboys Stadium at 3:15PM CT. The Red Kettle Kickoff is the 15th year the Dallas Cowboys and The Salvation Army have teamed up to support Americans in need.

Our deep gratitude goes out to Square and Sprint for helping The Salvation Army reach more donors and in turn, help more people who are struggling financially this year.

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