Tuesday, November 16, 2004

A Grinch named Target?

Shame on Target for banning the Salvation Army bell-ringers this year.

Salvation Army national spokesman, Major George Hood, says Target's exclusion of the bell-ringers could cost the Christian charity up to nine million dollars in lost holiday collections this year.

Hood says despite the Army's pleas that banning the red kettles would only hurt the needy, homeless and disabled in local communities, Target stood firm. Company officials say they've had a long-standing policy against solicitations, and can no longer make an exception for the Salvation Army while refusing others.

The familiar tinkle of the Salvation Army bells has become part of the background music of Christmas for me. I've even rung the bells myself several times. Each time I only spent a couple of hours at the post as a "guest celebrity bellringer," but it gave me a taste of what it's like for hundreds of volunteers who do the same thing for hours every year.

Yes, waving that little red bell back and forth continuously gets monotonous, but every time someone shoves a few bills into the slot, you think about how that money will go to help someone in need. And when a little child gets to do the honors, the look of happy enthusiasm on their face as they learn a small lesson about giving, makes it all worthwhile.

Oh well, the bell-ringers will still be at Wal-Mart. :)

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