IFI News Release: Boycott Target Stores over Salvation Army

Protest planned at Woodfield Target Saturday morning
NEWS RELEASE, December 10, 2004
CONTACT: IFI: 630-790-8370

GLEN ELLYN-Illinois Family Institute (IFI) today called for a Christmas-season boycott of Target stores, in response to Target’s Scrooge-like ban of Salvation Army bell-ringers at its 1,200 stores nationwide. 

IFI, Republican Young ProfessionalsVote Life America and other pro-family groups will hold staggered protests at individual Target stores in the Chicagoland area in the coming days-beginning with a 9:00 a.m. protest Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Woodfield Greatland Target store near Woodfield Mall. The store is at Higgins and Meacham Roads, 1235 E Higgins Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60173; see bottom of this email for an online map. 

Target executives claim they are not “targeting” the charity group for punishment but merely ending the Salvation Army’s exception to the store’s non-solicitation policy. However, pro-family groups suspect that Target is kowtowing to homosexual activists-who for years have crusaded against the Salvation Army’s Bible-based policy of opposing homosexuality and hence “gay” leaders. 

“Our family is not shopping at Target this Christmas, even though it is my wife’s favorite store this time of year,” IFI Executive Director Peter LaBarbera said. “It amazes me that Target is punishing this charitable group during Christmas-all in the name of ‘fairness.’ Isn’t that just like theACLU and the Secular Left?” 

“When liberal Political Correctness gets mean and directly harms benevolent groups that serve the poor and needy, it’s time for people to stand up and say they won’t take it anymore,” LaBarbera said. “Salvation Army kettles have graced the entrances of various stores and street corners for decades. They are a wonderful holiday tradition, and a symbol of the Christmas season’s emphasis on good will and compassion. Why would a corporate policy undermine the charitable work of an organization like the Salvation Army?” 

The answer came last month when Rick Garcia, Illinois’ leading homosexual activist, told the Walsh Forum radio show that “gay” groups have contacted Target and other corporations to urge them to stop supporting the Salvation Army. 

The money raised by the Salvation Army during the Christmas season is used to care for the poor, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and provide for substance abuse rehabilitation programs. Denying the high-volume Target locations to Army kettles and bell ringers will cost the organization an estimated $9 million in charitable dollars this season-an average of $10,000 per Target store, according to the Salvation Army. 

The Illinois Family Institute is urging citizens to contact Target headquarters and their local Target store to express disappointment with this decision, and tell them that they will shop elsewhere until Target reinstates Salvation Army bell ringers outside their stores. 

Cathy Santos, co-founder of the Chicago-based Republican Young Professionals, issued the following statement on behalf of RYP: “We are saddened by Target Stores’ decision to ban the Salvation Army’s world famous Red Kettles from its properties this Holiday Season. Republican Young Professionals has had the privilege of volunteering with the Salvation Army over the years, and our members have seen first hand the extraordinary good work performed by that fine organization. With Target Stores playing the role of Grinch this Christmas, we see no choice other than to encourage our members to take their business elsewhere.” 

LaBarbera said Target’s decision to ban the Salvation Army reminded him of last Christmas season, when it was learned that the United Way-Chicago de-funded the Chicago Boy Scouts, costing the boys’ group hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding. Like the current Target situation, local Chicago homosexual groups had lobbied United Way-Chicago to dump the Boy Scouts. (IFI continues to urge Chicagoans to give directly to the Chicago Area Council of the Scouts (www.chicagobsa.org) rather than the United Way-Chicago.) 

Click HERE to read the Salvation Army’s stance on homosexuality.

Illinois Family Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit organization, proudly affiliated with Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and theAlliance Defense Fund. We work to defend marriage, family and the sanctity of life in Illinois.

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