By Bob Allen

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – For more than 129 years, donors have been dropping money in the Salvation Army’s iconic red kettles during the Christmas season.

The kettles will be back this year after Thanksgiving and donated dollars are still welcome.

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But in keeping up in the era of smartphones, there are new ways to contribute. The Salvation Army has placed smart chips and QR codes in the signs that connect with the Apple Pay or Google Pay app on your phone.

Major Raphael Jackson says, “All you have to do is tap for Apple Pay or Google Pay. If don’t have either one of those, if you just use your camera and scan the QR code, you’re in business. You can make a very fast donation.”

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Rob Hopson)

Major Jackson believes this will help attract more millennials who often carry more credit cards than cash.

“We are becoming more and more of a cashless society,” he says.

“Everyone has a credit card; no one uses cash, per se. This is a way of helping us do the most good.”

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Every holdiay season, the Salvation Army sets a goal of how much it wants to raise.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Rob Hopson)

This year, the goal is 1.6 million.

It’s hoped the cashless donations will attract more people. And no matter where you are in the country, if you donate with your phone, the money will go directly to your zip code or community.

Like previous years, he says the money helps a number of worthy causes.

“That money is not only for Christmas time — the toys and the dinners and the food and all that we give — but it helps us run operations year-round,” he says.

There’s one more issue: security.

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Kettle robberies don’t happen often, but it’s hoped that donations through Apple Pay or Google Pay will reduce thefts even more.