The New York Times reported on Friday that the Salvation Army is experimenting with a plastic alternative for people who do not have cash to throw in a holiday red kettle.
This season, five bell-ringers in El Paso County, Colo., will be the first to test accepting debit and credit cards along with spare change and bills. Salvation Army officials say the kettle tradition needs to be tweaked as consumers increasingly carry only plastic.
When I first read this I thought it was a terrible idea. Just what the economy needs, people donating money they don't have, on top of paying off debt they shouldn't have charged. Brilliant. But the more I think about, the more it makes sense -- as long as the card in question being swiped is of the debit variety, where the cash will come straight out of your account.
Like I said before, I never really carry cash, so a set-up like this would more fit my lifestyle. There have been times when I've wanted to drop a few dollars into a shiny red Salvation Army kettle, but came up short with some lint, a hair tie and a couple bobby pins from the bottom of my purse. Unless it was a charity for Macguyver, I don't think they'd appreciate my offer.
On the other hand, charging donations just doesn't seem like a kosher thing to do, especially in the current state of the economy. What do you guys think? Can you picture a bell-ringing Salvation Army elf with a card swiper affixed to the inside of his jacket? I think I've seen stranger things.
This week in books 4/30/17
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