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View Full Version : Target Deems Veterans Unworthy of Support



GunnerMike
04-16-03, 08:35 AM
Please Read Post Below........This is FALSE RUMOR............





I received the following article this morning and am not the least bit surprised about the corporation's attitude towards Veterans and Toys for Tots. But like the author of the article my family has spent our last at any Target store until their policy is brought up for review.



Subject: No more buying at target stores
NO MORE BUYING FROM TARGET STORES FOR US.
Vietnam Veterans Association By Dick Forrey

We asked our local Target store to be a sponsor of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall during our spring recognition event. We received back a reply from Target management that ,
"Veterans do not meet our area of giving. We only donate to the areas of the arts, social actions, gay and lesbian causes, and education."

My thought: If the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and veterans in general, do not meet their donation criteria, something is wrong at Target. We were not asking for thousands of dollars, not even hundreds, but simply sponsorship of an endorsement for a memorial remembrance.
As follow-up, I E-mailed the corporate headquarters and their response was the same. Personally, I will NOT be purchasing anything at Target Stores again. If the Vietnam Veteran or Veterans in general do not meet their area of giving, then why should I, as a Vietnam veteran, spend my hard earned money in their stores?

Please pass this on to as many people as you know.

Sincerely,
Veterans Helping Veterans

PS: Target will also not allow the Marines to collect for "Toys For Tots" during the holidays.

:no: :no: :no:

thedrifter
04-16-03, 08:47 AM
Target stores do not "support veterans."

Status: False.

Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2002]


TARGET STORES DO NOT SUPPORT VETERANS!!!
Subject: Vietnam vets not worthy?

Vietnam Veterans Not Worthy Of Target's Help?
By Dick Forrey, Vietnam Veterans Association.

We asked our local Target store to be a sponsor of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Wall during our spring recognition event. We received back a reply from Target management that "veterans do not meet our area of giving. We only donate to the areas of arts, social actions and education."

My thought: If the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and the Vietnam veteran himself, does not meet the criteria of these areas, something is wrong at Target. We were not asking for thousands of dollars, not even hundreds, but simply sponsorship endorsement for a "memorial remembrance".

As follow-up, I e-mailed the Corporate Headquarters and their response was the same. Personally, I will NOT be buying anything at Target Stores again. If the Vietnam Veteran does not meet their area of giving then why should I as a Vietnam veteran, spend my hard earned money in their stores?

Please pass this on to as many people as you know. Maybe Target and other businesses will get the message.

Origins: As
Strother Martin's character wryly commented in Cool Hand Luke, "What we've got here is failure to communicate."

Dick Forrey, of the Howard County Vietnam Veterans organization in Indiana penned the above after failing to secure endorsement for a travelling Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Wall exhibit from his local Target store. In response, Target's customers relations group wrote:

We want to clearly and completely apologize for any misunderstanding regarding Target's support of the Vietnam Wall and our corporate giving program. Giving back to the communities where our stores are located is something we're proud to do. In fact, nationwide, Target Corporation gives more than $2 million a week to the communities in which we serve.

In March of 2002, a veteran approached one of our stores seeking a $100 donation for a display of the "moving wall" in his area. Target does support events in the communities in which our stores are located. While each store determines which events to sponsor, any contribution is limited and is made in the form of a gift card. The stores are not able to give cash contributions to any organization. Stores are also able to donate volunteer hours to community events and projects.

Our corporate giving program that does incorporate cash donations is handled through a process called grants. Unfortunately, the veteran and his organization were not provided the proper information to facilitate consideration of a grant from either the store or our corporate office. The initial response of the team member at the store and the reply from our corporate office are inconsistent with the respectful manner in which we want all of our guests to be treated. We are truly sorry for this oversight and the resulting confusion that has taken place.

We accept all applications for grants from January 1 to September 30 of each calendar year. Any guest can request a grants application brochure at their local store, called "Grant Guidelines." Veterans programs may be considered for grants if the subject matter falls into one of our three general areas of giving: education, arts and family violence prevention.

Guests can also access a grant application at our web site.

This is certain: Target appreciates the dedication and service of all our veterans. Thank you again for your interest.

Sincerely,

Daniel Cleland
Group Team Leader
Guest Relations

The first issue is that the Target store approached by Mr. Forrey wasn't able to provide a donation because Target corporate policy doesn't allow donations to be made at the local store level, only at the corporate level, and any such donation would have to be requested through Target's Community Giving grant program. (Mr. Forrey's original message says that his veterans' group was seeking "simply sponsorship endorsement for a 'memorial remembrance"; Target's reply indicates the group asked for a $100 contribution.) Still, the Target Guest Relations mea culpa response quoted above tends to confirm that nobody at either the local or the corporate level at Target told Mr. Forrey about the grant program (at least initially), and it seems a bit self-serving of Target to respond to the negative publicity he generated by pointing to their grant program when they'd already told Mr. Forrey that they "limit funding to the areas of arts and family violence prevention" and therefore his cause wouldn't qualify.

Still, to be thorough we e-mailed Mr. Forrey and asked him if his issue with Target had ever been resolved. He responded as follows:

They did send me a letter by e-mail telling me about the grant program which I have no problem with as many Companies do it that way. They told me to get a grant form and fill it out so I tried to print one and it would not let me have one as again we as veterans do not qualify for their grant program.
(If a grant applicant using Target's web site indicates that his request does not deal with the areas of arts and family violence prevention, he receives a "We are unable to consider your request" message rather than a link to a submittable application form.)

When we asked Mr. Forrey if he had filed a grant application anyway, he said, "I didn't submit a grant application as they would not give me one." This is a bit of a weak excuse, as the grant application form is readily available on Target's web site, and a travelling Vietnam memorial wall exhibit might very well have qualified for a grant in the arts or education category. Before a grant-seeker denounces Target for not considering Vietnam veterans "worthy of help" and urges that consumers shop elsewhere, it behooves him to at least go through the formal procedure of actually applying for a grant.

In any case, the stance that a company which won't financially contribute to someone's pet project doesn't "support" whatever cause is being represented and should therefore be boycotted by all like-minded people is a selfish one, and in this case a grossly unfair one. As the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) note on their website:

Although there has been a resurgence of patriotism and support for our nationís veterans, there have been various messages posted on the Internet that would lead people to believe that corporate America, specifically retail department stores, are falling short in supporting our nation's veterans.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars would like to remind all that the Internet culture weaves rumors and misinformation. Simply put, don't believe everything you read. For example, an e-mail message urging veterans to boycott Target has been circulating on the Internet because a solicitation request to support "The Moving Wall" was denied.

Target has a long-held corporate policy regarding donations. And in all fairness, Target contributes more than $2 million weekly to charitable causes and is one of the corporate sponsors for the 2003 tour of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund's "The Wall That Heals." "The Wall That Heals" is a traveling Vietnam Veterans memorial and museum that has a strong educational component for schools and serves to honor all our veterans.
Last updated: 26 March 2003

The URL for this page is http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/target.php


Sempers,

Roger

GunnerMike
04-16-03, 09:50 AM
Target Corporate response: <br />
In March of 2002, a veteran approached one of our stores seeking a $100 donation for a display of the &quot;moving wall&quot; in his area. Target does support events in the...

thedrifter
04-16-03, 10:37 AM
I have to say......my wife volunteer's for a few community services in our area.....
There is certain time period you need to apply for what the call Cash Grants from your Local Businesses......Most of this info is stated in your local papers....
Usually near the end of the year....and if you are granted your request.....the check comes early the next year.....
Ellie has got grants for Veterans groups....some needed flags...some need extra funds for having a nice breakfast for the local veteran's homes.....a few times a year....a new roof...
She has got a library systems for a school.... with these funds....and has updated community playgrounds.....
She has got Grants ranging from $300.00 to $3000.00....I do remember in one year...She was granted all she asked for in one year and in total she had $10,000....for our local community...
She has even got a few of the businesses to adopt another small group...or school......
I do have to say....Target has done this and Walmart....there are a few others.....KMart,,,Home Depot,,, don't remember all......Don't think it is all stores....some of the local hospitals do this too......
It never hurts to try, she always said.......

Sempers,

Roger

wrbones
04-16-03, 10:44 AM
I can see Drifter's point, but I agree with the Gunner on this one. I don't trust some of those folks who've never done anything but shirt and tie work. They've got to go completely outta their way before I believe anything they say.

Just my opinion.

Drifter and I have disagreed before. I usually let him have his way as he's gettin' old and cranky and Miss Ellie has spoiled him rotten on top of everything else....:banana:

thedrifter
04-16-03, 10:50 AM
Bones......

That is Ellie's job......She says she Loves Me....so I guess I get something for that piece of paper....that says we are married.....LOL

HMMM....Ellie is missing it is a good time to try and hunt for that white piece of paper she has hold over me all these years.....LOL...

Sempers,

Roger

jryanjack
04-16-03, 10:51 AM
Gunner,

What we may have here is a misunderstanding not a blatent lie from Target. Having worked at a management level in a retail organization I do know that the individual stores do not have alot of room to do anything that invloves cash, in fact, if I remember correctly our stores only had $300 total in petty cash which had to be reimbursed via check by the corporate office, which means that in reality they only had about $150 in real dollars on hand at any given time, with which they needed to keep for operational purposes.

I can understand why Target would not want to publish these details of their operational systems on their public web site. What their web site may be saying is that local stores can submit requests to corporate to support a local charity, but they do not have the ability to simply give cash out when they are approached by any chairity, however, the local stores can issue gift cards for use in a raffle or something of the kind.

GunnerMike
04-16-03, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by jryanjack
Gunner,

What we may have here is a misunderstanding not a blatent lie from Target. Having worked at a management level in a retail organization I do know that the individual stores do not have alot of room to do anything that invloves cash, in fact, if I remember correctly our stores only had $300 total in petty cash which had to be reimbursed via check by the corporate office, which means that in reality they only had about $150 in real dollars on hand at any given time, with which they needed to keep for operational purposes.

I can understand why Target would not want to publish these details of their operational systems on their public web site. What their web site may be saying is that local stores can submit requests to corporate to support a local charity, but they do not have the ability to simply give cash out when they are approached by any chairity, however, the local stores can issue gift cards for use in a raffle or something of the kind.

Corporate America never can say what they mean and mean what they say. They've gotten caught and are trying to wiggle out of it. Now, if I were say, Rosie O'Donnell, and wanted some $ for a program on why Heather has two mommies.....

MAJMike
04-16-03, 11:31 AM
Gunner:

Thanks for bringing this issue up. Let me add some insight.

For the past 20 years I have owned and managed a very successful strategic and promotional marketing agency. I've dealt with Target and other major corporations on a variety of "cause" marketing events.

Stop and consider a couple of things.

EVERYBODY who gets involved in any kiind of event beats feet to the major marketers in their home area. Every local Little League baseball team, kids soccer league, girl scouts, boy scouts, high school band, church youth organization, etc. "only" asks for $100 from the local Target store. In the course of a year, each local Target Store, along with Kroger, SafeWay, Publix, KMart, WalMart, Home Depot, etc. is inundated with literally hundreds of requests to support local "do good" events and organizations. On top of that, there are ads in local high school year books, community theater programs, you name it.

This can easily get out of hand. How does a local Target manager determine which groups are worthy and which don't get support? He doesn't have a desk drawer full of $100 to give to every organization that asks him for money.

EVERY major corporation has SOP (as detailed above for Target) on how to apply for suppport from one of their programs. To ask for support, you need to know the guidelines, the method of applying and the TIME involved.

TIME is often a critical issue. These decisions take months - sometimes up to a year to be processed. They have to go into a planning cycle well in advance. As the Staff Sergeant points out, usually these decisions are made during the latter part of the year to be included in the next year's budget.

So, the local veteran's group, boy scouts, soccer team's representative walks into the local Target Store and gets turned down. Of course, the "event" is taking place next week or next month and we need the money now!

The thinking: Hell, it's only $100. Why can't the guy just take it out of the register? We're his customers. We support him! He doesn't like us! I'm gonna start a boycott.

Target Stores are one of the most benevolent corporations in America. Target is one of the few companies that puts a percentage of their profits back in their local communities year after year.

So, if you want to be p*ssed, that is your perogative. But your anger is based on faulty information. You never got ahead in the Marine Corps by bucking the system, so why would one think that bucking the system in corporate America works any differently?

If any charitable group takes the time and makes the effort to find out how the process works before walking into the local Target store, then maybe things turn out differently.

I'm not even going to comment about the number of charitable scams that are attempted on these same merchants each year. Unfortunately, some purporting to be "veteran's groups" are at the top of the list. I would ask what kind of information, identification, proof of validity was shown to the local Target manager by the veteran who solicited the $100. I would venture to guess: none.

99% of the people who approach local merchants for donation in person have no proof that they are doing what they say they are doing. To walk in and simply state "I'm with a local veteran's group and we want $100 for...." arouses suspicion.

Do you give money to every person that calls you at home or knocks on your door and asks you to donate to their "charity?" Of course not. Why would the manager at the Target store be any different?

Mike Ventura
MAJ USMCR
1968-75

GunnerMike
04-16-03, 11:51 AM
After an exchange of emails with WRBONES, I did a search of the forums for "Target". The original thread, http://www.leatherneck.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1884&highlight=Target, came up and I read the posts. Also the issue of Toys R Us and Toys For Tots thread received my attention.

MajMike, I got ahead bucking the system....thats a Gunner's job. Not a Yes Man....My CO's always counted on honest opinions from us W1-W5's.

As for Target, my wife says I'm the most unforgiving man she knows. God forgives, I don't.

End of thread.
End of message.
Out

firstsgtmike
04-16-03, 03:30 PM
I should know better than to get in the middle of THIS ****ing contest.

HOWEVER;

In MY experience, most national businesses "encouraged" their local executives to join local service and professional organizations, such as the Lions Club, Rotary, JC's, etc. etc.

I "pitched" many times (guest speaker, etc) to these clubs in my hometown. Sometimes, I received support from the club, but more often than not, a member would approach me and offer support on behalf of his company.

I NEVER "cold called" a business.

I never failed to achieve my objective. The way to "win" a game is to understand the rules and learn how the game is played. Then you play it better.

I never understand why people try to make life so difficult.