The Schrammie: Don't mess with the red kettles

It's been a Christmas tradition for more than a hundred years.

Slowly but surely, retailers are shutting it down.

So if all those supermarkets and all those department stores that have decided to keep the Salvation Army's red kettle at bay would suppress their inner Scrooge for a moment, I'd like them to come on down.

Traditionally, the red kettle makes its appearance the day after Thanksgiving, what is now called "Black Friday."

Not this year.

This year a host of retailers are either saying "no kettle" or asking the Salvation Army to wait until a week before Christmas before the bells begin to ring.

Seattle's Salvation Army counts on its kettle collections for about $4 million in donations.

That is money that goes to help the needy, the homeless, the hungry and the marginalized.

It is hard to get my head around the reasons that retailers are bailing out on the red kettle.

Some say the sound of the bell ringing is too annoying.

Some say retailers don't want customers feeling guilted into giving.

I think it's that corporations don't care because they don't have to.

And for that reason, I think those messing with the red kettle should take a bow, because this "Schrammie" is for them.


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