Bell ringers kicked to the curb

Salvation Army can't solicit at Colfax post office
By: Martha Garcia, Colfax Record Wditor
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Two Salvation Army bell ringers are worried Colfax post office customers will miss the opportunity to make a donation this year. The familiar red kettle and bell ringers such as Ann Martin and Kim Alford, both of Colfax, are stationed on the sidewalk on Church Street, instead of in front of the post office as in years past. They fear they aren’t as visible and customers won’t walk through the parking lot to donate to the Salvation Army. Martin, who said she has been involved with the Salvation Army for many years, said this is the time of the year when the organization that provides food, shelter and disaster relief receives most of its funding for programs. “It’s going to make a big difference in the amount of money collected,” Martin said of the new location. Alford, who said she was a bell ringer last year in front of Sierra Market, said Salvation Army provides service to many, including her, in the community throughout the year. “It helped me at the time when I was getting started,” Alford said. According to Colfax Postmaster Susan Wycoff, earlier this year the Lions Club had requested to solicit at the post office. “I had explained that the requirements is that there is no solicitation on postal property. We had determined that they could be out on the sidewalk because it’s public area,” Wycoff said. When the Salvation Army came, Wycoff said, the same rules had to apply. Wycoff said it’s possible the decision could be changed. “We constantly review what we do, but I don’t make up the regulations or the rules, unfortunately,” she said. Vernon Thompson said “it’s terrible” that bell ringers can’t solicit at the post office’s door. “They’ve always let people do it, the VFW, Girl Scouts – They’re always there. Now they’re not there. They put them out by the driveway,” Thompson said. People, Thompson said, “can’t even get to them. They don’t get the results that they want.” Thompson said he has lived in Colfax for seven year, and “they’ve always had them by the door. You go down by Sierra Market, they’re at the door. They don’t hurt anything … I don’t what’s a matter with the post office.”