donation dilemmas

Salvation Army Is Not Having A Good Christmas

The Salvation Army, America’s leading homophobic homeless charity, is not having a good Christmas. Donations are down — by some 15 percent in the D.C. area alone. But that might have less to do with Sal’s falling out of favor in the marriage-friendly nation’s capital than it does getting shafted by local retailers.

The Times breaks the harsh news of a Santa-less holiday season.

Donations to the Salvation Army in the Washington area have fallen 15 percent below last year’s in the first two weeks of its Christmas season bell-ringing campaign, officials from the organization said, dragged down by the continuing recession and a new limit on ringing outside Giant Food stores.

Giant announced the limit in October, in what it said was an effort to allow more local nonprofit organizations access to its customers. Giant allows only one organization at a time to solicit in front of its stores. The Salvation Army previously had exclusive rights from Nov. 12 to Dec. 24, but this year is limited to one week in November and one week in December, a Giant spokesman said.

Giant stores made up about half of all collections in the Washington area in past ringing campaigns, and Salvation Army officials are raising concerns about possible collection shortfalls. Last year, the local Salvation Army raised about $667,000 in front of Giant stores, about half of the total $1.35 million it collected. Giant has 179 stores, all near Washington, including Maryland, Delaware and Northern Virginia.

In the 16 days that ended Dec. 1, Washington-area Salvation Army ringers collected $404,894, or about 15 percent less than in the same period last year, said Kenneth Forsythe, a spokesman for the organization. It collected $68,271 outside Giant stores, a 75 percent drop from the same period last year, Mr. Forsythe said.

Undoubtedly, that’s going to put a huge damper in the holiday parties Sal’s throws at its $1.3 million estates.