By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Salvation Army is facing new challenges with its bell-ringing campaign, due to the pandemic. This year the organization is helping to care for millions more people than usual.

Salvation Army Commissioner Kenneth Hodder says need for their services have jumped 155% nationwide in 2020. At the same time, they’re expecting to bring in far less through their red kettle campaign this holiday season.

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“There are fewer locations for the kettle because there’s less foot traffic, the coin shortage, some of the local shutdowns as a result of the pandemic will all combine to reduce the amount that we receive from the red kettle by about $60 million across the country,” Hodder said.

This year, the Salvation Army is making it easier for people to donate, with Kettle Pay. The group will place smart chips and QR codes on red kettle signs across the country, allowing people to tap their phone to the kettle or scan the QR code to make a customizable online donation with Apple Pay or Google Pay.

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Of course, cash and coins are always welcome.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff