Forget your coins or bills? The Salvation Army will test credit card donations this holiday season.
‘Tis the season to be charitable, and to think ahead to the winter cold. With Thanksgiving next week, Christmas on the horizon, and the winter months looming, the DMV region’s focus is turning to helping those in need, and providing shelter for those without it.
But the Salvation Army is anticipating a lean season for its trademark red kettles now that Giant Food of Maryland has limited the bell-ringers to just one week in November and another in December. Last year, the local Salvation Army took in 45 percent of its donations in front of Giant stores.
DCentric’s Anna John says this is unfortunate. "A spokesperson for Giant said something perfunctory about serving customers and being committed to the community. Apparently, the red kettles 'hinder' the shopping experience. That’s a confusing reason to stop a decades-old tradition, though. If Giant were truly interested in the 'experience' their stores provide, they’d focus on customer service, cleaner stores and courteous employees... but getting rid of a red kettle is probably easier and faster."
John says she has always associated the bell-ringers with the holiday season, as have I and many others. It adds to the experience of shopping during the hectic holiday season. Giant’s action just doesn’t make sense.
Others in D.C. are feeling more giving. The Hill is Home writes that the annual block party on Walter Street S.E. last weekend was "a chili cookoff and fundraiser for [the nonprofit So Others Might Eat]. Anyone from the neighborhood is welcome to come sample the food and anyone is welcome to enter into the competition... for a small donation to the local nonprofit."
And Prince of Petworth shares a video about the great work being done by D.C. Central Kitchen.
The Georgetown Dish defends Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells against the New York Times, which accused him of "being personally 'inhumane' for attempting to distribute the cost of sheltering homeless families to Washington-area jurisdictions. While The Times editorial board can opine comfortably from the relatively new Manhattan skyscraper the newspaper owns, the reality is that services in the District cost money, and the D.C. tax base is restricted by longtime resistance to a commuter tax such as New York City effectively imposes on users of its bridges and tunnels." Meanwhile, the Annandale VA blog says Fairfax County is getting its own shelter plans in order.
Elsewhere in the DMV:
What happens when you don’t? WashingTina blogs about forgetting her reusable bag when visiting her local farmers market. "Nobody pointed, but I felt their stares and judgment." At the checkout, "the woman who was weighing my vegetables looked expectantly at me. ...'Do you need a bag?' she whispered, looking disappointedly at me.... like she didn’t want to get stuck ringing up such an environmentally irresponsible ogre. 'Yes, I must’ve forgotten my bag today,' I replied, praying for her mercy. 'They’re ten cents,' she said, unforgivingly (a five-cent markup from the usual five cents the grocery stores charge). 'I don’t have a car! My carbon footprint is very small,' I wanted to scream, but instead I paid my penance and slunk off amidst the disgusted stares of the more thoughtful shoppers."
The Post says among the 405 friends and fans of Archbishop Donald Wuerl traveling to Vatican City to see Wuerl get the red hat of a cardinal will be "a rabbi he knows from Pittsburgh, the D.C. barber who cuts his hair, and the fast-talking (and devoutly Catholic) television commentator Chris Matthews."
Follow P.J. Orvetti on Twitter at @PJOinDC