CORNING - With the holiday season underway, The Salvation Army’s annual bell ringing campaign began Friday with the organization’s distinctive red kettles set up in multiple locations throughout the area.

According to Corning Salvation Army Captain Wanda Rivera, red kettles are currently set up in five locations in Corning and Painted Post: Centerway Square, Walmart, Big Lots, Tops and Walgreens -- and two locations in Bath: Tops and Walgreens.

“We’re trying to raise as much as we can to do the most good,” said Frank Acomb, chairman of the Corning Salvation Board and a local radio host.

Helping the Salvation Army this year is the establishment of an e-pay system at the organization’s various red kettles around the state this year, known as "Kettle Pay."

Red Kettle locations throughout Steuben County have been outfitted with smart chips and QR codes this year. Through "Kettle Pay," people can scan their phones to make a donation to the Salvation Army through Apple Pay or Google Pay if they don’t have any cash on them.

“It’s going to increase our donations because people don’t carry cash anymore, and they always give us excuses,” said Rivera. “And now, people will have the opportunity to pay by Google Play or Apple Pay and use their smartphones to donate.”

“So many people when you ring the bell each year says ‘oh I’m sorry, I don’t carry change. I don’t have any cash on me,’” said Acomb. “There goes that excuse and everyone can give now.”

Rivera said the Corning Salvation Army set a goal last year to raise $65,000 through its bell ringing campaign, which raises funds to contribute toward Salvation Army operations. The organization met that goal last year, and hopes to meet the same goal this year.

The Salvation Army's bell ringing campaign continues through Dec. 24.  

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