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Giving Back Goes High Tech for The Salvation Army

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mattroush Matt Roush
Matt Roush joined WWJ Newsradio 950 in September 2001 to spearhead the...
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SOUTHFIELD — As part of The Salvation Army’s continued efforts to gain new supporters, three of the charity’s most unique fundraising efforts — the Coin Catch online game, the Online Red Kettle and its iPhone app — are back in a big way.

Kettles, apps or games not your thing? In addition to the Online Red Kettle, supporters may give directly by texting ‘GOODMICH’ to 80888*.

That’s right, the Red Kettle has officially gone high-tech.

Coin Catch, at www.salarmycoincatch.com, is free and easy to play. The objective of the game is to catch falling coins in a red kettle at the bottom of your screen, while attempting to avoid nails and other unpleasant items. As the game continues, it becomes more difficult. At the end of the game, the total amount of money caught in your red kettle will be donated to The Salvation Army by an anonymous sponsor. Players are then given the option of making a personal donation or playing again.

To inspire individuals to play Coin Catch, Huntington National Bank has signed on to support The Salvation Army by matching all player earnings up to $15,000.

“Huntington is proud to support The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division with this season’s online Coin Catch,” said Huntington National Bank regional president Michael D. Fezzey. “We continue to strengthen our longstanding partnership with The Salvation Army and look forward to a successful giving season.”

Additional sponsorships of any amount are also being accepted for Coin Catch. For more information, call (248) 330-2146 or (248) 361-1872.

The Salvation Army’s bellringer iPhone app is a fun way to play bellringer, donate and help The Salvation Army continue “Doing the Most Good.” Don’t want to hold a bell? Hold your phone instead. With different musical notes to choose from, users can create unique sounds, play their favorite holiday songs, or make up an on-the-spot jingle. The notes are up to you, but one thing’s certain: With your help, lives change for the better. Hungry families are fed. The homeless find shelter. At-risk children find hope. And disaster victims get back on their feet. So ring your bell. Share your hope.

“Michigan’s poverty rate has climbed to 16.8 percent this year and we are seeing an increase in need across the metro area,” said Major Mark Anderson general secretary and metro Detroit area commander for The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division. “These programs offer a way to have fun and get your friends and family involved in giving back to those less fortunate.”

Like the iPhone app, the Online Red Kettle is easy to use as well. Go to www.onlineredkettle.org to register for your own virtual kettle. Hosts may set personal fundraising goals for their kettles and can even customize their own kettle Web pages. Hosts are encouraged to e-mail their friends, family members and co-workers to anounce their fundraising efforts and collect donations through The Salvation Army’s secure Web site. Donors can designate donations to go to The Salvation Army in their own zip code, the kettle host’s zip code, or another one of their choice.

Participants can also link their kettle to their Facebook page, allowing your goal, progress and Online Red Kettle to appear on their profiles. When someone makes a donation via Facebook, you will receive a notification.

The Salvation Army has once again recruited local celebrities and community members to help raise awareness of the campaign through their own Online Red Kettles as well, including Detroit Red Wings Head Coach Mike Babcock, who is asking Red Wings fans to show their support via his personal kettle at www.onlineredkettle.org.

The Salvation Army has been steadily increasing its online presence in recent years. In 2008, The Salvation Army introduced their Online Red Kettle, 2009 brought a Facebook application for the Online Red Kettle platform along with Coin Catch. With their constant efforts to stay current with trends, especially in technology, The Salvation Army has consistently worked to make giving back easier and more fun.

“It’s important for people to know that the Red Kettle giving season doesn’t end with Christmas — it continues through the end of January,” Major Anderson said. “And the online technology allows you to continue supporting The Salvation Army 365 days a year.”

Individuals may also give at http://www.salmich.org or by calling (877) SAL-MICH now through Jan. 31. Supporters may also give at any of the more than 400 kettle locations stationed throughout southeast Michigan from Nov. 11 through Dec. 24.

Founded by William and Catherine Booth in London, England in 1865, The Salvation Army is a faith-based, non-profit organization dedicated to serving people in need without discrimination. This past year, The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit was involved in providing 3,194,802 million meals and 687,203 nights of shelter for the homeless. The Salvation Army uses 85 cents of every dollar raised to provide direct services to people in need each and every day of the year.

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