• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no echo chambers. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! You can also register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

Now here's a shining example of Christmas spirit!

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
My mass email as a result. - Thanks to NHP!

Holiday Greetings,
Anyone that knows me knows I don't send out any "internet stories" ever. I dispise those that send them without checking the facts. I also check the facts of any email before I consider forwarding it to a friend or two. I read this story on a bulleting board and was horrified, but not surprised in the least. I spent some time and tracked down the roots of this story. It is indeed true. I'm sorry this email is so long, but I want you to know this is not just another internet hoax. Here are links to the story where you can verify its veracity.
el Guapo

From Sprwal-Busters (an anti-walmart web site) http://www.sprawl-busters.com/search.php?readstory=1104

2002-12-08
Sterling, CO. Wal-Mart Takes Toys For Tots And Resells Them To Customers!

Tis the Season to Make Profits! Wal-Mart describes its philanthropy efforts as "Caring in Action", and says that its "associates" lead by example. One Associate who apparently didn't get the message is Brad Barritt, manager of the Wal-Mart store in Sterling, Colorado. His actions make a heart-warming Christmas story that might be titled: "The Wal-Mart Grinch." According to a Channel 7 ABC news story in Colorado, local residents in Sterling were promoting a "Toys for Tots" program in town, and had a drop-off box in the Wal-Mart. One TFT organizer, when she was told the box was nearly full, went to gather the toys. "I was devastated when I found it empty," she told ABC News. What Grinch would steal the toys from needy kids? It turns out the Grinch was none other than Wal-Mart manager Brad Barritt. The manager claims he told TFT organizers that toys placed in the box needed to be wrapped in Wal-Mart bags to ensure that customers had bought the items before putting them in the box. (Otherwise the donations would have been directly from Wal-Mart.) Barritt removed the toys out of the Toys for Tots box--and put them back on the shelves for RESALE! So Wal-Mart got the profit twice, and Toys for Tots got nothing. When the story came to light, Wal-Mart pointed out that there must have been a mix-up, and that the company had given $1,000 to TFT this year. "Not that that had anything to do with this situation," Barritt told ABC. "Only to say that as a corporation we are very community-minded. I'd hate to see a discrepancy over a few toys change that perception in the eyes of the public." After checking with corporate headquarters in Bentonville, AR, Wal-Mart officials delivered $425 worth of toys to the TFT local organizers.

What you can do: Wal-Mart is what my mother used to call "a loud giver." They constantly boast about their "Good.Works" in the community. In 2001, Wal-Mart said "over $190 million was raised and contributed by our Associates and Customers and given back to our local communities." In this TFT's campaign, ALL the donations come from the generosity of the customers, and nothing from Wal-Mart. All the company did was agree to put a box on the floor. The manager's actions to take toys out of the box and put them back on the shelves to sell twice, tells you something about what Wal-Mart must think of its customers. This cynical act says explicitly that Wal-Mart assumed the toys in the box had not been paid for by customers--making the items (horrors!)--a gift directly from the company's bottom line. Merry Christmas to all from the "caring inaction" company. For more Christmas stories, search this database by "Christmas".

From the local town's paper http://www.journal-advocate.com/Stories/0,1413,120%7E7824%7E1032076,00.html?search=filter
Donated toys back on store shelves
Mix-up leads Wal-Mart to make good with its own donation
By REBECCA DUDLEY
Journal-Advocate News Editor

Controversy brewed like Christmas wassail Wednesday when Toys for Tots organizers in Sterling learned that goods from a drop-off box the charitable organization placed at Wal-Mart are back on the store’s shelves. Susan Kraich, who is heading Toys for Tots drive for the Logan County Chamber of Commerce’s Project Elf, said with only 10 days left until the end of the annual toy drive, she’d been put back at square one. “I’ve been keeping an eye on that box every time I went to Wal-Mart, and was so excited as it slowly began to fill. Over the weekend I heard that it was nearly full, so I went to pick it up. I was devastated when I found it empty,” Kraich said. Kraich, who works as a customer service representative at First America Cash Advance, said she complained to store management, but was told the store would only replace the items she knew for a fact were in the box. She left the store after replacing only three toys that she, herself, had purchased and donated to the cause. “I don’t know how I am suppose to prove what was in there ... I thought since Wal-Mart agreed to place the box, they were agreeing to keep an eye on it,” she said.

No proof of purchase

Wal-Mart manager Brad Barritt said the Toys for Tots organizer he originally met with, whose name he could not remember, was originally instructed that donated items needed to be wrapped in Wal-Mart bags — preferably with receipts attached — to ensure the items had been purchased. Kraich denies ever receiving any such instruction. “There was everything in that box — clothing, sporting goods, food items. My understanding, was that the box would be emptied regularly. We had no way of knowing whether or not those items had been paid for,” Barritt said. And, in this instance, store security cameras were no help in determining how the items got into the box. “The location of the box was not visible from the cameras monitoring the nearest checkout lane,” he said. As a result, he took the decision to place all the items in the box — toys, clothing, even food items — back on the store shelves to be resold. Barritt noted the big box retailer is a regular benefactor to area clubs and organizations, donating more than $50,000 annually. Wal-Mart even offered a $1,000 cash grant to Toys for Tots this year. “Not that that has anything to do with this situation. Only to say that, as a corporation, we are very community minded. I’d hate to see a discrepancy over a few toys change that perception in the eyes of the public,” Barritt said.

Wal-Mart makes replacement donation

He blamed part of the misunderstanding on the way the box was labeled. The ad for Cash Advance was much larger than the notice explaining it was a Toys for Tots drop box, he said. “It probably didn’t have the marketing effort behind it that could have made it a success,” he said. “We’re making the effort to ensure that (it is a success).” By late afternoon Wednesday, telephone lines were buzzing between Wal-Mart, its corporate headquarters and the local charity. Before the day was out, $425 worth of toys were delivered to the Sterling office of First America Cash Advance. According to Peggy Swedelund, who coordinates the Wal-Mart Foundation grants program for the local store, “Every other year, Wal-Mart has done something charitable for the community on its own.”
“This is the first time we’ve tried to work with another organization, and we feel just terrible about the mix-up,” she said. Recipient of the $425 windfall of gifts, Kraich said she is focusing on the beneficiaries of the program. “This isn’t about me, and it isn’t about Wal-Mart. It is about kids ... This has been a tough year for families, and there is a lot of need out there,” she said.


More from Chris:
It only is my personal opinion that this goes on much more than we suspect, and not only at Wal-Mart. They just make a larger and easier target for the media. If you want to help Toys for Tots, do what we at my office did - give them cash or a check. Toys for Tots is consistantly on the list of the best charities because of their low operating expenses and reputation for honesty. Marines will take a bullet before they will rob from a child.

Here are the stats on Toys for Tots from the State of Kansas' Charity Check web site:

Following is the information as reported by the charitable organization to the Secretary of State's office. You can verify this information @ http://kscharitycheck.org/search.asp

Charitable Organization: MARINE TOYS FOR TOTS FOUNDATION
Address: 715 BROADWAY ST., SUITE 300
City,St Zip: QUANTICO VA 221340000

Expiration Date 6/30/2003
Gross Receipts: $***48,653,815.00
*Fundraising Expenses: $****1,880,820.00
Amt. to Charitable Org.: $***46,772,995.00
% to Charitable Org.: 96%
% to Fundraising Activities: 4%

*Does not include general operating expenses. For a full list of all expenses incurred by the charity, consult the financial information on file with the Secretary of State's office.

Thank you and please forward this to all who may care - just verify the facts as presented first. - Chris
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,889
Points
38
Somehow, I knew El Guapo would do something like this.... :)

Thanks for the local story Guap!
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
Its just one bad guy at one Wal-mart store.

let's not indict the entire company because we have some anti-business agenda, like sprawlbusters does.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
gkmo62u said:
Its just one bad guy at one Wal-mart store.

let's not indict the entire company because we have some anti-business agenda, like sprawlbusters does.
Agreed, I was careful to identify Sprwal Busters as anti-Wally World and I quote: "It only is my personal opinion that this goes on much more than we suspect, and not only at Wal-Mart. They just make a larger and easier target for the media." Thus, I encourge people to give directly to the TFT chairity.

If it had been my Saintly Momma stealing from the dropbox at my favorite gun store and she was stealing from the Young Republicans Christmas Fund for Conservative Poor Kids I still would have ratted her out. No Agenda Here. No anti anything here except anti-theft from poor kids at Christmas.
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,889
Points
38
gkmo62u said:
Its just one bad guy at one Wal-mart store.

let's not indict the entire company because we have some anti-business agenda, like sprawlbusters does.
Agreed. I pointed it out, yes because I don't like Wal-Mart, but primarily because I was disgusted that anyone could do something like this to the Toys for Tots program. El Guapo did a great job of making his disclaimer, and I don't think this should be seen as an indictment of Wal-Mart....there's plenty of other ways we could go about doing that....
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
5,902
Points
31
The manager just doesn't have any common sense. It wouldn't take much time at all to contact someone from TFT about the lack of store bags in the bin, or to remove the bin to storage before restocking the items. Geez. All someone at the store had to do was to TELL someone from TFT about the problem. From what I understand, Wal Mart stores have an in-house contact person who handles charitable affairs. All the manager had to to was DELEGATE.
 
Top