It had to happen sooner or later. The contribution kettles manned by volunteers in our communities — some still with audible ringing sleigh bells, but most silenced by city ordinances and mall requests — have gone online. The program is called iKettle. Any of my Canadian readers can host a kettle with a few clicks of the mouse.
I found out about this from fellow-Canadian blogger Rick Apperson, and after mulling it over for several weeks, decided that if we could raise nearly $4,600 to sponsor my oldest son’s summer working at Camp Iawah, using our mailing list alone, we ought to be able to raise at least that much for the Salvation Army.
After a disastrous start where I actually gave the wrong e-mail address, my kettle was off and running. I set the goal modestly at $1,000 figuring we would surpass that by the end of the weekend. Within a half hour of the e-mails going out, the total started increasing, and then it came to a sudden halt.
Which is where my Canadian* blog readers kick in. You can’t toss spare change in the kettles anymore because you pay for everything with plastic cards, and you don’t get change. Any bills in your wallet are probably there for emergencies. Besides, this year, with so many unemployed or underemployed, the SA needs significant contributions to meet the needs in local areas.
BTW, for what’s worth, I don’t like the whole “sponsor me” script on the webpage. You’re not sponsoring us at all. Some web designer got that one past them before it could be thought through more carefully. How about, “Make a Difference;” or even “Contribute”? Then there’s the liability with the button that allows you to read the text I wrote. I ended with “Please give generously.” But the more/less button after the paragraph means your brain sees, “Please give generously less.” Not good planning, but it’s their first year doing this.
*For my U.S. readers — and there are lots of you — I couldn’t find a direct link to the U.S. program, and their regional websites are a bit of a dog’s breakfast; but it’s probably better for you to contact the SA in your local area to find out ways an online donation can serve your own community.
This Christmas our giving can meet the needs both in overseas relief and development and in the cities and towns closer to home. This is an opportunity to do something on the domestic front in a year that’s been rough on many people.