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Salvation Army installing new safety protocols at Red Kettles as pandemic continues

Salvation Army installing new safety protocols at Red Kettles as pandemic continues

Red kettle file

A customer drops money into a Salvation Army red kettle.

The Salvation Army wants to help ensure the safety of those ringing bells at the iconic Red Kettles this Christmas season.

The funds raised from kettles go directly into services like food, housing, utility assistance, and more.

The need has always been great for those services — but this year, it’s greater than ever amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Salvation Army is expecting an unprecedented 155% increase in nationwide demand for holiday services this Christmas.

The need for donations will be all the more urgent this year — while, at the same time, the need for increased public-health-focused safety is also more urgent. To maximize the safety of everyone, new, nationally mandated safety protocols will be implemented at kettle sites. Protocols include:

• Bell ringers will be provided with masks and instructed to follow state/local safety protocols.

• All kettle equipment will be cleaned prior to use in accordance with guidelines.

• Bell ringers will be trained to maintain social distancing.

• Bell ringers will not have any physical contact with any donations or individuals.

• Before reporting for their shifts, bell ringers will be provided a training video that shows how to safely perform their duties and engage with the public in a COVID environment.

Additionally, kettles will be enabled with Apple Pay and Google Pay technology in order to provide donors with an additional contactless form of donation.

Those who wish to volunteer can sign up at A total of 130 sites are anticipated in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area. There is also the option to ring virtually this year.

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