CHICO, Calif. - The Salvation Army has new plans for their red kettle donations this year due to the coronavirus.
Action News Now reporter Dani Masten said usually red kettles are placed throughout the City of Chico, but due to the pandemic the Salvation Army has taken a hybrid approach to fundraising.
Salvation Army Captain Arwyn Rodriguera said this year things are looking a bit different for their big holiday operation. She said they usually raise around $100,000 every year, but they are concerned that fewer kettles out in the public and the switch to virtual fundraising could made a negative impact on this year's dollar amount.
Captain Rodriguera said, "We don't really know what to expect this year. People are struggling, let's face it. In our office, we have seen an increase in those that are newly unemployed and are coming here to receive our services for the first time this year."
She says this year there will only be eight red kettles located onsite at stores. She stressed the importance of donating virtually this year.
Daniel Mesa of Chico commented on his experience. "With the virtual kettle, I don't get the same satisfaction like I do when I roll up to Safeway and put a five-dollar in, but it still has this element of connection and giving back," he explained.
Several people in Chico told Action News Now they were just glad they can donate while staying safe. Mesa said, "It is a lot better for people to know that they are being safe and they are still doing a good cause."
Chico resident Laura Alexander said, "For the people that are concerned or have compromised immune systems -- that's good. That's a fit for them."
Captain Rodriguera said people will be able to make their virtual donations through Apple Pay or Google Pay.
Rodriguera also said the first in-person red kettle will start on November 9th at Hobby Lobby.
To make a virtual donation you can CLICK THIS LINK.