Salvation Army, other Christmas charities need your help

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Donations are needed for Christmas, now more than ever, according to some central Indiana charities.

The Salvation Army of Indiana is only 40% of the way to its $3.5 million Red Kettle goal, and reports kettle donations are down this year.

"It’s a large amount of money to raise in a short period of time," Major Bob Webster said.

That's why they'll roll out new "dip jars" alongside some of the kettles this weekend. The jars allow you to dip your credit card and donate $5. The transaction is quick and easy, and your information is not stored on the device, but instead sent to a secure location, according to organizers.

"We’ve become less and less dependent on cash in our society and we know that," Webster said.

You can get more information about donating to the Salvation Army, or signing up to ring a bell at a kettle, at the link here.

They're not the only ones hoping for help. The United Way of Central Indiana's United Christmas Service still needs to raise $98,000 to help about 850 families have a nice Christmas. The group says a $120 donation will sponsor a family of four. You can find more information here.

Finally, local promoter and DJ Amp Harris will once again host his annual "Put a Smile on a Kid's Face for Christmas" event, this time serving 1,100 people at the Murat on Tuesday, December 20.

"We’re still looking for toys and clothes for primarily kids from the ages of six to 10," Harris said.

Harris is hoping to get donations dropped off at the Forest Manor Multiservice Center on Monday, at 5603 E 38th Street. You can also contact Harris to donate through social media.

That private event will bring together Colts players and local celebrities, as Harris hopes to bring a smile to kids' faces in Indianapolis.

"All I am is just a walking testimony to some kids that may think that their dreams don’t go as far as their neighborhood," Harris said.

Meanwhile, some families have already begun receiving help. The Salvation Army handed out Angel Tree donations on Friday, to people like Tanee Lawson.

"It means a whole lot that they care about single moms and try to help you out, and I’m a single mom so it helps me out a whole lot this year," Lawson said.

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