Follow the Money: The Salvation Army

What if one year your family celebrated an untraditional Christmas? After all, wouldn’t there be an element of relaxation by avoiding the malls and the department stores? There’d be no last minute rush, less stress fighting traffic.

What if instead of buying anyone a gift, your entire family committed to experience one day of giving to others? Many find an alternative to a consumption-laden Christmas by spending the day serving a meal at a local Salvation Army site. The Christian ministry organizes Christmas meals for the needy at centers and shelters across the United States.

Obviously, the scope and reach of the Salvation Army is readily apparent as Christmas approaches. The Red Kettle Campaign is synonymous with Christmas shopping as retailers, many of whom strictly enforce “no solicitation” policies 11 months of the year, allow Salvation Army volunteers to ring bells and sing Christmas carols as customers donate spare change on their way in and out of stores. It’s a feel-good activity and can even be a moment for teaching children about the merits of charity.

Christians and values-minded conservatives should take an extra moment to consider the Salvation Army this Christmas. Unfortunately, in a time when scams abound and ambiguities on a cultural level compromise moral steadfastness, people have developed a growing wariness about their individual charitable giving. That’s why the Salvation Army’s public statements affirming the sanctity of life are refreshing, especially coming from such a high profile organization.

Conservatives can easily demonize major corporations that fund Planned Parenthood or other “women’s health” charities, however, the Salvation Army’s stance on life offers the other side of the coin and gives us an opportunity for positive reinforcement with companies for their contribution to pro-life values.

The Salvation Army website lists several corporate partners that support the organization’s programs and operations. Many of those like Walmart, Target and Macy’s which will receive a lot of our Christmas shopping dollars, rightfully earn our ire for contributions to pro-choice organizations, but welcome the Salvation Army during the holidays. Other companies like Hobby Lobby (which we know conservatives love to frequent), UPS, FedEx, J.C. Penney, Target, Hanes, Entenmanns’s, Sprint, Kroger, Walgreens, Big Lots and Odyssey Networks are all also listed as major supporters of the Salvation Army. Undoubtedly more companies have made significant contributions, including small businesses in every community. Certainly any local business with a Red Kettle out front this time of year is …read more    

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