To the editor,
I find it interesting that nowhere in your article about the decision by Target Stores to stop allowing the Salvation Army to solicit at their stores do you talk at all of the Army’s open policy in discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals.
Target Stores have a written non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation in its employee handbook or manual.
Also, since 1999, Target Stores have offered health insurance to employees’ domestic partners.
While just a couple years after that, Salvation Army’s Western Corp. decided to offer domestic partner benefits on Nov. 1, 2001, the Army’s national leadership on Nov. 12, 2001, issued a policy to ban regional divisions from expanding health benefits.
All of these details are available on the website of the Human Rights Campaign.
I should also point out that several Army officials find it very easy in your article to say things like “the decision by Target to drop the waiver is going to minimize the ability of local communities to respond to the needs of people.”
Any good fundraiser knows better than to place the blame of reduced services at the feet of funders.
When these types of challenges present themselves, it is our job as fundraisers to rise to the occasion and find other donors.
But we should all know better than to allow funding from one source to make or break any of our programs.
That is a disservice to those we support.
Hooray to Target Stores for their decision, regardless of what prompted them to do so.
Michael Anderson, senior director of development, Howard Brown Health Center, Chicago.