Individuals with Apply Pay or Google Pay on their smartphones don’t need cash or change to donate at a Red Kettle operated by the Salvation Army this Christmas season.

The Salvation Army Indiana Division, which includes its Fort Wayne area operations, has placed smart chips and QR codes on Red Kettle signs across the state, which allow donors to simply scan with their phones to make a digital contribution.

The Salvation Army has uploaded to YouTube a short animated Kettle Pay video explaining the process, which can be found here:

Donors will be taken to a custom contribution page accepting the Apple or Google payment options and funds then will be distributed to local Salvation Army units based on the billing ZIP code and a receipt will be sent to their phone via email.

“Kettle Pay is making it even easier for donors to give back, even if they don’t carry cash or check books anymore,” Maj. Bob Webster, Salvation Army divisional commander, said in the announcement.

“We’ve offered online giving for years, but this new technology simplifies the process. It’s just a quick tap of the phone to the sign and you’re ready to make your donation. This will help The Salvation Army serve the thousands of Hoosiers who come to us in their time of need.”

The technology is rolling out across the country. Donations to the Salvation Army also are accepted online at

Purdue researching wireless charging

Purdue University has teamed up with a Germany-based company to develop technology that eventually could eliminate the need to plug in electric cars for battery recharging.

The university has begun working with Magment Concrete Wireless Power on advance electric transportation pilots for that purpose at its Discovery Park in West Lafayette.

The company is developing magnetized cement it says can help repower electric vehicles more efficiently than conventional charging systems can.

“For a company like Magment to collaborate with so many experts in the many different areas of research at Purdue is incredible. We have only scratched the surface of what is possible,” Magment Chief Executive Officer Mauricio Esguerra said in an announcement on the project.

In addition to electric vehicles, Purdue researchers plan to work on applications for the technology to repower robotic shop floor delivery systems, autonomous electric utility vehicles and micro-mobility scooters as part of a Joint Transportation Research Program.

“We are excited to work with the Magment team on the evaluation of e-scooter wireless charging technology,” Darcy Bullock, a civil engineering professor and JTRP director, said in the announcement.

“We view this pilot as a critical step in understanding how this technology can be scaled for use on larger electric vehicles.”

Bullock expects growth in industrial and consumer demand for electric transportation systems eventually will drive down their costs while improving their speed.

Donation supports Trine engineering facility

A $10 million expansion of Trine University’s Allen School of Engineering and Computing facility has received a $500,000 pledge of support from the English-Bonter-Mitchell Foundation.

The 39,800-square-foot expansion of the facility on Trine’s Angola campus will feature bright, open spaces for conversation and collaboration and an active learning lab with a maker space to foster creativity as well as other flexible labs and classrooms.

It also will have a café and will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology to help prepare professionals in high-tech fields such as health informatics, cybersecurity, computer networking and hardware and software development.

“Economic and labor statistics point to a growing demand for STEM professionals, and Trine University has been a leader in providing STEM education for this region for well over 100 years,” Mike Eikenberry, a member of the foundation’s distribution committee, said in an announcement.

“Trine’s expanding STEM programs not only provide youth with skills needed by the region’s employers, they help keep the Fort Wayne area and northeast Indiana competitive as a whole.”

The Fort Wayne-based foundation specializes in cultural programs and programs for youth. It was established by Dr. Calvin English, the first medical director of the Lincoln National Life Insurance Co.

“We are so grateful for partners such as the English-Bonter-Mitchell Foundation who are willing to invest in the future of this region and in the lives of young people who attend Trine University,” Earl Brooks II, Trine’s president, said in the announcement.

“With the demand for professionals in engineering and computer science, and with Trine’s proven record of developing career-ready alumni, more than 99% of whom are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation, we know this generous grant will pay dividends for many years to come.”

The pledge was part of the university’s $125 million Invest in Excellence campaign.

WaterFurnace donates to USO of Indiana

WaterFurnace International, Inc. retained its status as the largest single contributor in the state to the USO of Indiana following a fall fundraising event.

The Fort Wayne-based geothermal heat-pump manufacturing business of NIBE Industrier AB presented the USO of Indiana a check for $27,000 earlier this month, which included an amount raised from its annual Supplier Golf Outing in September and a WaterFurnace match. Leaders of the 122nd Air National Guard attended the check presentation event.

Annual Waterfurnace contributions from the golf outing help fund programs and provide USO resources to members of the military throughout the state, it said in the statement. WaterFurnace has raised more than $300,000 for the organization during the last decade.

Veteran reporter Doug LeDuc joined Business Weekly in 2006 and primarily covers banking and finance and technology. You can send information for his weekly column to or call 260-426-2640, ext. 3309.

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