And shoppers, without thinking and without researching where their money is going, again naively throw their money away into the SA's little red kettles.
Please don't do that.
You see, the Salvation Army is not the kind and generous operation it purports to be. The organization - and its leaders at all levels - have a long and disturbing history of religious coercion, abuse, intolerance, and dishonesty.
I wrote a a piece in December of 2008 that addressed the organization's history of religious intolerance and coercion. You have to pray to their particular god to qualify for help, no matter how dire your needs.
That article generated a lot of other stories from readers who showed me that the Salvation Army was even worse than the racket I had exposed in 2008. So I wrote a follow-up piece the next year highlighting questionable activity including cases where donations didn't go where expected, but instead were taken by SA staff. Employees and volunteers who complained about these things were disciplined. There were enough reports to suggest a pattern.
Here are links to those two pieces:
• December 2008: The Salvation Army's red kettle of trouble
• December 2009: The Salvation Army: It gets worse
And similar stories continue to roll in.
So now, armed with the truth, please just say no to the Salvation Army - this holiday season and every year. And also warn everyone you know.