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The Eric Factor: Schnuck’s gives bell ringers the “heave-ho” and I’m okay with it

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Am I a total curmudgeon? Recently, Schnuck’s Food Stores, based in suburban St. Louis announced they would no longer allow solicitors at the entrances of their stores. This includes all Girl Scouts and Salvation Army bell ringers. My initial thought was “Really? The jerks.” But the more I think about it, the more I’m okay with it.

Before you knock me for my lack of compassion, hear me out!
Admit it, we hate to be pressured into donating money, especially around the holidays. While the Salvation Army does great work and does wonderful things in our communities, it’s awkward trying to dodge the kettles. Even if you throw a twenty in one kettle, you’ll still have another bell ringer at the next store who thinks you’re cheap by quickly skirting by the kettle. And I’m sure I’m not the only person who doesn’t carry cash anymore. Maybe if they had a credit-card slide thing on their kettles? Still, if you can’t donate or don’t want to donate, you still feel guilty not doing it. Not to mention, part of me is hesitant to throw money in the kettle because in recent years, the Salvation Army hasn’t been accepting of LGBT people in need. *sad face*
I almost always buy Girl Scout Cookies when my doorbell rings and when a coworker brings their daughter or granddaughter to work. But isn’t the whole reason behind the cookies more than sitting at a table at the grocery store watching people fork over money for cookies? When I was a kid, I had to go door-to-door to sell candy bars. I wasn’t allowed to set up a table at the entrance of a grocery store. And if you’re a grocery store like Schnuck’s, why would you actively want girls selling cookies outside of the business where you make money selling cookies?

It would be incredibly unfair if one group wasn’t allowed to solicit in front of the store when other groups were kept on just because of tradition.
I feel best giving to charities on my terms and when I can. Honestly, I don’t always have money to give but when I do, putting a few bucks in an envelope and sending it onto a charity makes me feel like gold! The same way you feel when you put something in the collection basket at church…it just feels good. It’s even why the “gold coin in a kettle” stories around the holidays are so magical. So, I’m not saying they don’t have a place.
We live in an incredibly giving community where we all help each other out. That’s so valuable and makes me want to give back. Especially if I’m ever in a situation where I need a helping hand. That’s why we give…and especially around the holiday season. It feels good to give. But now when I shop at Schnuck’s, I won’t have to dodge eye contact with the bell ringers at Schnucks, just because I don’t have a quarter.
Let me know what you think on my Facebook page.-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen