Retail chain bans Salvation Army kettle bell ringers

Wallingford, CT — The holiday season is a time for giving, but one well-known store is giving the Salvation Army bell ringers the boot this year.

The Christmas Tree Shops have asked the Salvation Army to keep its Red Kettle Campaign away, because it has a no solicitation police that it needs to uphold.

“I haven’t seen them this year, so I’m surprised to hear they’ve been asked to stay away from the Christmas Tree Shops,” said Jane Pavlis of Wallingford.

“I understand having a big presentation in front of a store could be a problem, but I don’t see the problem being off to the side and reminding people we need to give,” said Mary Gauld of Hamden.

Bed Bath and Beyond, the company that owns the Christmas Tree Shops said in a statement “The company as a whole receives many requests throughout the year from a number of quality organizations like The Salvation Army that would like to solicit our customers in front of our stores. To be both fair and consistent in upholding our non-solicitation policy, we will not be having customer solicitations in front of our stores this holiday season.”

For the New Haven chapter of the Salvation Army, it is the second setback this holiday season. With two weeks to go until Christmas, the organization said it is struggling to make sure every child in need on its “Angel Tree” gets a present.

“We’ve actually registered over 270 families, equals over 500 children that we’re trying to provide Christmas gifts this year, but we still have about 130 tags that are still here and need a home,” said Salvation Army Lt. Denise Ravelo.

To make up for the absence of the kettles, the Christmas Tree Shop said it is making a donation to the Salvation Army, but some said it still isn’t the same.

“I think it’s wonderful to make a donation, but that’s their company making the donation and I think we as people need to do it ourselves,” Gauld said.

The Salvation Army said in a statement “We respect the request by the Bed Bath and Beyond to uphold their non-solicitation policy. We are grateful that during this transition the Christmas Tree Shops’ made a donation to The Salvation Army for this Christmas season.”

The popular store has 70 shops in 21 states.

To make a donation to the campaign, people can text ‘Give CT’ to 71777.

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