Target: Internet Bell Ringing Only, Please

According to the Chicago Sun-Times:

“Target Corp.’s policy of prohibiting Salvation Army bell ringers on its property will remain in force this Christmas season, but the Minneapolis-based retailer said Tuesday it will donate $1 million to launch an online version of the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.

Target will launch the site,, on Thursday. Visitors may buy a “virtual” angel ornament for any chosen dollar amount to provide new clothing, toys or food to families in need. “

There are also rumors that Target will be hanging well-known attention-whore David Blaine four stories over Times Square, and, should he escape, it will somehow cause money to be given to “100 needy children”. —MEGHANN MARCO

Target nixes Salvation Army [Sun-Times]
Target supports Salvation Army, but not bell ringers [MBJ]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Kornkob says:

    Good for them. Sticking by their guns instead of folding to pressure.

  2. Does it make me a bad person if I find the bell-ringing annoying?

  3. AcilletaM says:

    I’d give 100 kids money if Blaine doesn’t make it.

  4. LeopardSeal says:

    AcilletaM, I second that motion and raise you 100 more needy kids. See David Blaine, you can help even more hungry children by not making it, and make the world a better place at the same time.

  5. Ryan says:

    Seeing as they throw some of this money at missionaries run amok in non-christian countries…I don’t feel bad passing the bells up.

  6. Triteon says:

    That settles it, I’m shopping Target.

  7. kimdog says:

    Yup, I think Target is making the right decision. There are plenty of charities that are much better run (and not religiously affiliated) than the bloated, beaurocratic Salvation Army.

  8. pestie says:

    I hate those bell-ringers with a visceral passion. As if shopping during the Xmas season wasn’t annoying enough, along comes Mr. Bell-Ringer-For-Jesus to make my ears bleed! I tend to shop for household stuff at my local Target mostly because it’s far less crowded and annoying than Wal*Mart, but now they not only have a Starbucks in the store, but they’ve banned those Hell-spawned bell ringers! I’m liking them more and more.

  9. nick says:

    I always feel guilty when I walk by one of those bell ringers without throwing in some change. Thank you, dear Target, for releasing me from this guilt, and also for providing me with more change to purchase and enjoy a festive eggnog latte as I shop!

  10. Chongo says:

    Someone should link to some financial figures in regards to the Salvation Armies spending.

    I had no idea they were a religeous organization until I moved across the street from one of their compounds… I mean ‘College’… on Addison & Broadway in Chicago.

  11. mendel says:

    What kind of salvation did you think they were talking about?

  12. Chongo:

    Charity Navigator has this to say about the Salvation Army’s financial figures:

    We don’t evaluate The Salvation Army.
    Why not? Many religious organizations are exempt under Internal Revenue Code from filing the Form 990. As a result, we lack sufficient data to evaluate their financial health.

    For the record, Charity Navigator is by far the best website for looking at financial records and to see how well they’re managed. There is some surprising stuff there and I think consumerist has an article about it from back in the day.

  13. Triteon says:

    s_a gives a good link, and here’s another from the BBB. The numbers are from 2004 for the organization’s stated purpose: “to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”
    Regardless of being a religious organization I appreciate the work they do. Just stop the goddamn ringing.

  14. synergy says:

    My theory is that they don’t want people standing at their door making you think what a jerk you are for buying $500 of things you don’t need to survive while children are dying in Darfur. Or Kentucky. Anyway, that might dampen your need to consumer. Nix!

    Yeah, I don’t like giving my money to charities that might dangle a bag of rice over people until they profess undying love to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

  15. Shaggy says:

    Speaking as someone who’s been fed and housed by the S.A., I think this is pretty despicable. I’m lucky enough now to have a wonderful home and family, but, once upon a time, I was one of those homeless street kids.

    If the bell-ringers make you feel guilty, then maybe there’s something to that. Maybe you feel guilty because you just blew a wad of cash on Christmas shopping. Maybe you feel guilty because you’ve got a meal and a warm bed waiting for you at home.

    Maybe you feel guilty because you should. And you know the best way to get rid of that guilt? Put a dollar in the bucket. It works every time, and it only costs a dollar.

    And as for the people who dislike S.A. for the Christian stuff, let me tell you, as far as Christian charities go, S.A. isn’t that bad. They’ll feed and house you without expecting you to convert or go to church or whatever. A lot of soup kitchens don’t operate that way; sure, they’ll feed you, after they make you sit through an hour long church service, or read the Bible for a while, or confess your sins before God, or whatever.

  16. Solo says:

    From a purely business standpoints, the more the Salvation Army occupies store entrances and street corners, the more chance they have at raking in money.

    I understand the whole hoopla about it being a religious organisation, even when their help is not discriminatory.

    And yes, if you don’t have a buck to give to the S.A. after you blow out a wad of cash (or worse, charge) on dumb plastic toys made in China or whatever other crap you buy at Target, then yes, you are a jerk :)

  17. Yup, I think Target is making the right decision. There are plenty of charities that are much better run (and not religiously affiliated) than the bloated, beaurocratic Salvation Army.

    Back when they first made this decision they said it was because they didn’t want anyone in front of their stores, not that they had anything against the Salvation Army in particular. Publix has the exact same policy but I’ve never heard anyone criticize them for it.

    Speaking as someone who’s been fed and housed by the S.A., I think this is pretty despicable.

    Is it less charitable to donate online?

  18. pronell says:

    I’ll go one better than AcilettaM and onrampofframp. If David Blaine escapes, I will personally hang 100 needy children.

    You hear me, Blaine? Think of the children!