Let me start with a little Christmas Cynicism. I do not drop coins in the Salvation Army kettles. I know that, unless the bell-ringer is in uniform, s/he gets a cut of the take (those in uniform might, as well. I just don't know). I also, cynically and likely unfairly, doubt that many bell-ringers are actually reporting the full take. I'm not going to throw rocks at the bell-ringers, but I'm not going to toss in any twenties, either.
Instead, I give directly through the Salvation Army website. Even if it costs, say, 10% to process my credit card, it's still less than they'd have to pay a ringer, so the organization gets more of my money.
The Salvation Army has a program called Online Red Kettle. This year -- and you should be able to see it in my sidebar -- I am hosting one of these. So I have three challenges for my readers, and I encourage you to take up at least one:
1) Donate to my kettle. After my little bout of Scrooginess, I feel obligated to tell you that I'm not taking a cent that goes in. You want to give to me? Awesome, we'll talk. You want to give to the Salvation Army? Click on the kettle.
2) Start your own kettle. Encourage your readers to donate. Beat me. I dare you.
3) Join my team (or start your own). Want to team up with me? Look for the Not Boring Challenge. Want to beat us? Start a team here.
Dynamic fundraising meter for your Red Kettle campaign.