Charities are developing new ways to empower people to give – NBC Connecticut

Many charities are changing the way you can give ahead of the holiday season.

In 2019, The Salvation Army rolled out a new contactless way to collect donations from the public. The group has implemented a QR code option on collection bucket posters outside many stores during the holiday season.

In 2019, The Salvation Army rolled out a new way to collect donations with a QR code.

“We’re forced to move forward because of COVID and I think it’s timely,” said Maj. Gregory Hartshorn, Salvation Army Connecticut Division Commander. “The code will take you to our donation page where people can donate any amount they want to donate once they’re on the landing page.”

The campaign giving season for the Salvation Army has already begun with their latest initiative called Rescue Christmas.

“The number of needs is going to be way more than they’ve ever seen, probably 25 to 50 percent higher,” Hartshorn said. “In order to meet those needs, we obviously need to raise funds and COVID has also posed challenges to that.”

The Salvation Army said bell ringers will be installed at JcPenny’s, Macy’s and Hobby Lobbys statewide. The group is waiting for feedback from other organizations that will allow them to set up outside their store. Bell ringers will be equipped with PPE.

“They will have gloves and masks and any time someone donates outside of a store, they will be 6 feet from the donation bucket,” Hartshorn said. “We are also working to have Lysol spray the drop box after every donation.”

The group also encourages donors to give virtually. This year, the organization is rolling out a new initiative called Virtual Angels.

“This method will allow donors to go to our website and find a place they want to donate to a Salvation Army near them and select a boy or a girl,” Hartshorn said. “Donors can find the type of toy, gift or item of clothing being shipped directly to the Salvation Army.”

If you would like to donate to the Salvation Army, click here.

The Marine Corp is also gearing up for its annual Toys for Tots campaign.

“Any support is welcome and we appreciate everyone who contributes,” said Maj. Derek Shivers of the United States Marine Corp. “We’re accepting donations, event requests, nonprofits and we’ve seen a pretty good response.”

Marine Crops Reserve prepares for the annual Toys For Tots initiative.

The pandemic has forced organizers of the annual initiative to start reaching out to vendors a little early to ensure kids and families can get what they need.

Like the Salvation Army, the Marine Corp also follows guidelines to ensure people can donate safely.

“Volunteers will be wearing masks and gloves at all of our donation drops,” Shivers said. “All donations will remain in place for 72 hours before being handled, then obviously we sanitize.”

If you would like more details on where to drop off donations or if you would like to donate to the Toys for Tots initiative, you can click here.

The last day to drop off donations in Hartford and Litchfield County is December 14.

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection is issuing an alert ahead of giving season and the holidays, especially with many nonprofits and organizations now recommending virtual donations.

“We ask the public to take your time to do your research to find out where they are going and to make sure they arrive at the right place,” said Arunan Arulampalam, deputy commissioner of the state’s DCP. “If someone solicits you for a contribution, they must be registered with the state.”