money for the first time this year at what has been one of its best
locations in the past. For one week, the Army's kettle collectors
stayed away because of a Mervyn's store policy banning any solicitors
from their property.
The chain store's executives offered the Salvation Army an
exemption this week, saying that they did not realize how much the
army relied on Mervyn's locations.
"I thought it was sad they wouldn't let us collect here," said
Martin, who is in his third year as a Salvation Army kettle
collector. "I'm glad they changed their mind."
Money raised by the Salvation Army's kettle drive is used for a
number of Salvation Army programs, including feeding the hungry on
Christmas and Thanksgiving and a children's toy drive.
Martin said traffic was slow outside of Mervyn's on Friday, but he
expected it to pick up in the afternoon, as people get off of work
and go shopping.
Shoppers seemed pleased to have the Salvation Army back.
"There's no reason why they should turn (the Salvation Army)
away," said David Nesser, who dropped some change in the kettle on
his way into the store. "If it's OK to have panhandlers out here, you
might as well have the Salvation Army, who you know is legitimate."