A photo of 69-year-old veteran John Harkness went viral on social media after Thanksgiving, sparking outrage against the management of the Wal-Mart location in Medina Township. Harkness said he had been allowed to solicit donations for Toys for Tots inside the store in previous years, but this year was told he must seek donations outside.
According to The Washington Post:
For the past 14 holiday seasons, John Harkness, a U.S. Marine veteran from Medina, Ohio, has shown up at his local Walmart in his dress blues and dutifully accepted donations for underprivileged children.
He does it for the Toys for Tots program and, as far as Marine missions go, this one may be the 69-year-old’s all-time favorite.
“It means a tremendous amount,” Harkness, who has 11 grandchildren of his own, told The Washington Post. “The object of the mission is to put a smile on the face of kids who otherwise would not have a Christmas.”
Walmart messed up in this new stupid policy. All charities aren’t the same. Toys for Tots isn’t religiously affiliated so they can’t use that excuse. If they were smart, they’d have partnered with them and had a big display where you could donate toys that had been purchased at Walmart right inside their doors. Walmart would get more business. As it is, they look like Scrooge.
Lots of other businesses partner with select charities for donations. Typically groceries stores have boxes where you can drop off food for food banks that you purchased in the store.
The photo was shared thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter, with comments questioning Wal-Mart’s respect for veterans. What are your thoughts about this decision by Wal-Mart? Share them below and add this to your facebook/twitter timeline to inform others.
h/t – Washington Post