This pretty much pisses me off. Target (and its subsidiary Mervyn’s) are banning Salvation Army Bell Ringers from collecting at the front of their stores during the holiday season. Their reason? If they allow one non-profit group, they have to allow them all.
Look, I know some people find the bell ringing annoying, but it’s not like the people manning the kettles are tackling shoppers on their way in or out of the stores and forcing them to donate. The worst some of them do is sing. People who do find the bells and singing (oh! And let’s not forget those pesky wishes for Happy Holidays!) annoying can get past them in about 5 seconds—anyone who can’t tolerate a bell for 5 seconds should probably not be out in public during the holiday shopping season, anyway. Bells are everywhere…get over it.
If other non-profits want to sit outside and gently solicit donations, fine. I can pick and choose to whom I donate my money, and I’m perfectly capable of walking past them if I don’t want or am not in the position to donate.
Dropping a few bucks into the Salvation Army kettle is a tradition; we do it every year, and we actively seek out those kettles. After seeing the Salvation Army in action during the Grand Forks, ND flood in 1997, they have my utmost respect—and any spare change I have in my pocket, every time I pass one of those kettles.
I doubt I’ll be shopping at Target during the holiday season this year. I’ll look for other places that aren’t so uptight…I have a can full of change, and I’m ready to dump it.
Just nowhere near Target or Mervyn’s.