ALTON - Alton Salvation Army Kettle Coordinator Greg Gelzinnis said he is "doing cartwheels" since Schnucks made a reversal on its banning of all solicitors outside their doors this holiday season.
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After the edict banning all solicitors, including the Salvation Army's bell ringers, was made earlier in the fall, Schnucks has decided to revisit the decision and allow bell ringers at its establishments. According to a release from Schnucks, the campaign will be allowed exemption to the solicitation policy from Nov.18-Dec. 24.
"This is wonderful, wonderful news," Gelzinnis said. "We have started reacting favorably, and there is a flourish of activity."
Gelzinnis said the bell ringing schedule has opened slots at the three River Bend Schnucks locations, and the Alton Salvation Army staff is working to get those, and other sites around the area, filled as often as they can.
"The truth of the matter is Schnucks has always allowed us to ring the weekend before Thanksgiving, so we're working to get people ringing this Friday and Saturday."
Besides allowing the Salvation Army's bell ringing campaign, a release from Schnucks stated the company would help its customers find creative ways to donate to charities throughout the rest of the year.
"We are honored to be working again with the Salvation Army to bring support and joy to families in need this holiday season," Todd Schnuck, Chairperson and CEO of Schnucks Markets, said in a release. "Our solicitation policy was reset earlier this year in response to customer feedback, but there was strong and unique community reaction to the impact it would have on the Salvation Army in particular. We listened.
"In this specific, special case, we acknowledge the great needs of the community and The Salvation Army's unique ability to address these needs and made an exception in our policy to welcome them back - bells, kettles and all - and hope the community will contribute to the Salvation Army when they shop at Schnucks."
Schnucks has four locations around the area, including their Alton store at 2811 Homer Adams Pkwy, in Godfrey at 2712 Godfrey Rd, in Bethalto at 72 Airport Plaza and in Edwardsville at 2222 Troy Rd.