Once the holiday season begins, it is common to see men and women with their bells and red buckets outside various stores and other establishments throughout the country giving strangers holiday greetings and collecting money for the Salvation Army. This is almost a holiday tradition in the United States because it is just as common as Santa decorations and Christmas lights. However, there has been some controversy concerning the Salvation Army and the people that they have turned away for help. This has prompted different stores and organizations to start speaking out. One of the latest stores to take a stand for what they specifically believe is Belk, a major department store.
Until this year, the bell ringers could be seen at the front entrance to Belk department stores across the country. However, patrons have noticed that this is something that has been missing this holiday season. It appears that the bell ringers are no longer welcome to stand in front of the store and collect money for the organization.
Rob Dolby, a Salvation Army lieutenant has spoken out about the situation when he had a chance to make an appearance on the Todd Starnes Show. He said that the funds that the bell rings collect go to programs that work to serve tens of thousands of kids. He said that the programs include a variety of things, such as addiction, youth programs, shelters and treatment facilities.
Belk states that their social consciousness is what led to them making the decision to no longer allow the bell ringers to collect money in front of their stores. Belk launched a Home for the Holidays campaign and they feel that the personal beliefs of the Salvation Army does not align with the campaign.
Some believe that this is because the Salvation Army is a religious organization that is focused on Christmas instead of other holidays. However, this is not the message that is being portrayed in Belk’s latest campaign, so as of now, this is simply a subject that is being hotly debated by people on social media.
Instead of the Salvation Army, Belk has chosen another worthy cause to partner with for the holiday season. They are going to work to raise money for Habitat for Humanity International.
While Habitat for Humanity does great work, some people feel that Belk is making this change purely due to religious reasons despite the fact that there is no evidence to support this. Those defending Belk feel that this change is due to recent news about the Salvation Army denying help and assistance to those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. This will ultimately continue to be hotly debated on social media and elsewhere.
Some people feel that the department store is large enough to raise money for both the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity. However, Belk appears to want to cut ties with the Salvation Army at this time and simply focus on just one cause. Ultimately, this is up to the store and at the end of the day, any form of giving is a good thing.