What do you have in your wallet? Many people don't know that they have something in their wallet that can help thousands this Christmas: unused gift cards.
The Salvation Army will begin accepting unused gift cards online this year for the first time. Holiday shoppers can log onto
to donate any remaining balance and The Salvation Army can now turn that unused balance into cash to help struggling families in our community.
Gift cards are a popular gift item during the holiday season and throughout the year. But each year in the United States billions of dollars go unspent on gift cards. Most gift card purchases leave up to 10% of a card's value unused. Eventually these cards with unspent value are often discarded.
Now, The Salvation Army has developed an online system to redeem the unspent portion of gift cards from any retail store into cash to support their important programs for the poor.
"We are facing a big challenge to meet all the needs this Christmas," said Major John R. Jones, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. "We expect to provide toys and food to more than 25,000 families in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi this Christmas and that requires a lot of money. We hope this new ability to accept gift cards online will help provide the additional funds we need to help all of those in need."
The gift card market is expected to be more than $100 billion dollars in 2008 and approximately 10% of this total value will go unspent. That's $10 billion sitting around in wallets, purses and dresser drawers that can be put to use to help struggling families at Christmas and throughout the year.
For more information on how The Salvation Army is helping in our community please log onto