Post Offices Say 'No More' To Salvation Army Bell Ringers - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/7/04-Tyler

Post Offices Say 'No More' To Salvation Army Bell Ringers

It's a familiar sound around the holiday season. But this year, you won't be hearing or seeing them at any U.S. post office.

The Tyler Salvation Army is not allowed at any of the three locations that used to welcome the red kettles.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service says: "Federal law prohibits any organization from soliciting any funds at post offices. The Tyler post offices have been generous in the past, even while breaking policy."

This is the first time in six years The Salvation Army says it has lost major bell ringer locations. The organization stands to lose about $20,000, according to Major Richard Hathorn, but no hard feelings, he says.

"These people are still our friends," the corps officer said. "We have good association with them."

To make up for its loss in donations, The Salvation Army is putting bell ringers at several new locations in Tyler, including Big Lots, Hobby Lobby, Hollywood Theaters, and Times Square Cinema.

"So while we may lose some things, we seem to win some things," Hathorn said. "However, it means that in some of these locations, we may have to work harder to make up the difference, which means that we need to rely on more volunteer help."

Despite the latest blows to its fundraising efforts, The Salvation Army still expects to meet this year's goal of collecting $200,000 from its red kettles.

The U.S. Postal Service says a customer alerted them to the Tyler post offices' breaking the law.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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