Soliciting for Donations Has Gone Too Far!
July 24, 2006

Every charitable organization seeks to raise money from the community. It is part of being a community. One organization has taken this to the extreme.

On Sunday July 23, 2006 a small group of people gathered at the Safeway in Eldersburg to sell Krispy Kreme Donuts. No problem and this has been done before.

This group was a bit different in that they BLOCKED the exit from the grocery store such that every customer had to navigate around their table or knock it over. I am confident that the Fire Marshal would have had a few things to say about blocking the exit.

Frankly the Freedom Soccer organization and the people involved should be ashamed of themselves for such abrasive tactics. Our family was insulted by the “get in your face” approach clearly focused on intimidating customers into donating.

This group of has accomplished two things today. First and foremost, I will make certain that I do not contribute anything to their organization. Freedom Soccer is obviously no longer interested contributions for support. Instead they seek to pressure funds from the local residents through intimidation and obstruction. What a sad statement for the parents of these children. What a terrible life lesson. Second, I have now stopped shopping at Safeway. I have been a loyal and frequent customer and frankly I thought it was kind for Safeway management to allow local charities to set up shop on the sidewalk. This was one of the reasons I shopped at Safeway in the past. If Safeway Management does not protect my rights to peaceful entry and egress unobstructed, I will take my business elsewhere.

The management of Freedom Soccer should take a close look at the image they are presenting to the community they rely on for support. Enough is enough. Passing the hat is fine. Putting it in our face is abusing the public trust.

Hugh Jensen

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