Carry cash for charity

The Salvation Army red kettles are out, and volunteers are ringing the bells and encouraging community folks to assist the services the Army provides by dropping coins and paper currency into the kettles.
The Salvation Army began in Canada in 1882. The history of the kettle goes back to the founder of the organization William Booth who began feeding the hungry, the poor and the homeless in soup kitchens.
Canada followed the example set by the founder of soup, soap and salvation developing into the comprehensive social services programs that the Salvation Army delivers today.
The red kettle program remains a strong part of their fundraising.
I remember as a young toddler, my father putting a penny into my hand and then lifting me up to drop it into the kettle.
A penny could buy a lot of candy for a four-year-old in 1954, and it appeared to be a big donation at the time.
Today, in Canada we don’t even have pennies and talk already is following to do away with nickels.
Will there come a time that we will become a cashless society?
Even folding money is disappearing with the high usage of debit and credit cards. Several countries are considering replacing coins and bank notes completely.
Sweden appears to be leading the charge to go cashless and Denmark is following suit. China is developing its own digital currency.
Eight years ago, when Marnie and I travelled to Korea, we were amazed to watch our son and now daughter-in-law only use their cell phones to get on transit systems, buy food at restaurants and gifts and clothing at stores only with the use of their cell phones.
They did not need any cash. Their need for currency in their pocket was no longer necessary.
Today many people with cell phones in Canada choose to either use Apple Pay or Google pay that are connected to either banking credit or debit cards.
The cell phones operate just like a chip-embedded credit card or debit card that just taps on a card reader.
I can’t think of the number of occasions that I have been asked for a donation by an athlete or group going to a grocery store or hardware store and realized that I didn’t have any change in my pocket.
And when asked if I would like cash back using my debit card, I have declined–and then felt sheepish as I left the building with the people still seeking donations and I still didn’t have anything that I could donate.
All of these electronic banking systems make it more difficult for the Salvation Army and its red kettle campaign and for various groups’ tag days to raise funds through cash donations.
Just to support these groups, we should all be carrying with us coins and paper currency.

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