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Salvation Army sets new holiday fundraising record

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Salvation Army says it set a new fundraising record with its 2011 Red Kettle campaign during the holidays, raising $147.6 million across the nation.

That record is a 3.4 percent increase over 2010’s campaign amount of $142 million. The Red Kettle campaign is now 120 years old, dating its beginnings to 1891 on San Francisco’s wharf. The donations support social services.

Nearly a third of the total came from Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores, where bell ringers collected $41.5 million.

Alexandria, Va.-based Salvation Army also offered new ways to give for those who don’t carry cash. The charity partnered with the mobile credit card payment company Square and with Sprint to accept donations by cell phone in San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas and New York.

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