Sunday, November 28, 2004

The Widow's Mite 

(IDLE SPECULATION ALERT!!!!!) I wonder if the folks at Target might have made a miscalculation concerning their decision to stop having the Salvation Army bell ringers in front of their stores. I certainly hope that this was a case of mistaken calculations on the part of an otherwise good company that simply wanted to change the charity it really supported this year. I suspect though that perhaps the decision wasn't so much about an honest miscalculation on the part of a corporate retail giant. I think that perhaps a bit of what I will call demographic snobbery might have been involved.

Hugh Hewitt has lightly speculated here and here that perhaps Target was pursuing a more glamorous charity in childhood cancer research. I am speculating that the customer base that Target has been gunning for doesn't want or really care all that much about feeding the homeless and the drunks and the truly downtrodden in our society. Target wants to market to the "high end" of the retail market while Wal-Mart is considered to market to the "low end" of the retail market. Wal-Mart still has their kettles in front of their stores and Target doesn't. I haven't been to any place like Rookwood Commons here in Cincinnati yet, but I'm willing to bet that the really high end merchants that inhabit this "lifestyle shopping" center don't have the red kettles in front of their stores either.

Look, my whole point is that Jesus declared that the widow's mite was more blessed because she gave what she could out of her poverty instead of giving out of her wealth like so many of the wealthier patrons making donations were doing in the temple.Mark 12:41-44. I sincerely hope that Target's decision was one of choosing one particular charity over another. I hope for their sake that they didn't muscle the Salvation Army out of the way for a secular more glamorous charity. The people who are the target market of the store (no pun intended) ought to be encouraged to give to the least of these in their midst. I think that Target's decision might have bad repercussions for the company because demographic snobbery and the applause of men go only so far.

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