Vietnam Veterans of America is not associated in any way with a group calling itself the “Vietnam Veterans Association.” We have no knowledge of or affiliation with any organization known as the “Vietnam Veterans Association.”
Vietnam Veterans of America is the nations only congressionally chartered veterans service organization devoted the special needs of Vietnam Veterans and their families. Vietnam Veterans of America is recognized by the IRS as a 501 (c) (19) membership organization.
Vietnam Veterans of America has drafted this response to the many inquiries regarding an e-mail concerning Target Stores circulated by Dick Forrey of Vietnam Veterans Association. We sincerely hope that this response will assist you in making an informed decision about Target Stores.
Target Stores is the best source of information about their philanthropic policies. You can access Target Stores on line and check out their corporate policies and strategies on giving.
Our understanding, from a letter from Target Stores, which is quoted on the Urban Legends page below, is that Target says, "[v]eterans 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." Furthermore, some of the programs Target does fund (United Way, American Red Cross, etc.) assist veterans indirectly. You might ask Target for a list of all the community projects it has supported.
We must caution folks though that any successful boycott of Target (or any other major national business) may well have a negative effect on some veterans of all eras. Target is a major employer and I can't help but believe that a significant number of their thousands of employees are veterans or family members of veterans. The long term effect of a successful boycott could well be the elimination of some jobs held by veterans or their family members. I'm sure no one would find that a satisfactory solution to the issue of whether or not Target directs funding to veterans organizations.
We are not familiar with, nor are we affiliated with the "Vietnam Veterans Association." With respect to "Dick Forrey" being a member of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc., which is a tax-exempt, Congressionally chartered veterans service organization with over 500 local chapters, we do have a member with a similar name, but are uncertain if it is the same "Dick Forrey" who has distributed the e-mail regarding Target Stores.
The Urban Legends Reference Pages has looked at this issue and has produced a balanced account of what apparently happened.
Unsolicited Testimony from a VVA Member
I think National V V A website covers this topic very well and I want to add the following:
1. V V A Chapter 47 hosted the Moving Wall at Riverside National Cemetery in 1998. The Target Store in Fontana, CA donated enough soft drinks and bottled water to fill the back of my F350 pick up. They were even told that this was to support the Vietnam Memorial Moving
Wall. This Target store said no problem, "What do you need"!
2. Being a fundraiser for the National Cemetery we tend to walk around with the perception that organizations such as Target have the obligation to support OUR cause. We may even walk into these establishments with our hands out for a donation and a cocky "all or
nothing, leave no one standing" attitude.
What we are really trying for is the same dollar as all genuine charities i.e. Cystic Fibrosis, Heart Assoc, Cancer Society, Muscular Dystrophy, St. Jude's Hospital, Red Cross, United Way...and on...and on...and on. Who wins?
What I have found out in fundraising is:
a) Company's establish charitable donation criteria and pretty much follow those guidelines.
b) Dick Forrey was just not able to sell his story to Target to fit their charitable giving criteria FOR CASH. What he could have done was to find out what they were willing to do in terms of products, drinks, or employee support which is the way the Grocery chains, Wal-mart and yes even Target, do to support local causes.
c) He should understand that they do support other just causes and probably would be very happy to provide him any statistics on their charitable giving.
Extortion thru the Media is not the way to gain support for any cause.
Riverside National Cemetery Support Committee
V V A Chapter 47
Target is an American Store
Excerpted from http://target.com/target_group/company/company_history.jhtml
Unlike most other mass merchandisers, we have department store roots. Back in 1961, Dayton's department store identified a demand for a store that sold less expensive goods in a quick, convenient format. Target was born.
In 1962, the first Target store opened in Roseville, Minnesota. We were the first retail store to offer well-known national brands at discounted prices.
We paved new ground by implementing electronic cash registers storewide to monitor inventory and speed up guest service. We also began hosting an annual shopping event for seniors and people with disabilities, plus a toy safety campaign.
Opening new stores all the time, we rolled out electronic scanning nationwide.
We launched our first Target Greatland® store. Our Club Wedd bridal gift registry went nationwide in 1995, and Lullaby Club soon followed. We opened our first SuperTarget store, which combined groceries and special services with a Target Greatland store. We introduced our credit card, the Target Guest Card*. And that's just the beginning...
Response from Target
Unfortunately, a letter has been circulating via e-mail for nearly a year that misrepresents Target's support of veterans. Due to the nature of the Internet and e-mail communication, this false information has been perpetuated and modified many times by unknown writers. In fact, the National Veterans of Foreign Wars posted a press release on their Web site on December 6, 2002 to help clarify this issue at http://www.vfw.org/news/target.htm
Target Corporation does support our veterans and is grateful for the efforts of our men and women in uniform. In fact, for years Target has donated funds and volunteer hours to local and national veteran and military organizations around the country.
For example, Target is a sponsor of the national 2003 tour of "The Wall that Heals," a Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund outreach initiative that honors our veterans and has a strong educational component for schools. For more information, please visit the Web site at http://www.vvmf.org/travelingwall/index.html
Target Corporation also counts many veterans and military reservists among its more than 300,000 team members nationwide. To help support these team members, Target Corporation provides benefits for activated reservists, including pay differential, that surpass those benefits required by law. The Reserve Officers Association has recognized our company for these benefits.
In addition to supporting veteran and military organizations on a national scale, we also support local organizations, including:
· Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association in Jackson Heights, New York
· Hays County Veterans in San Marcos, Texas
· Kenny Nickelson Memorial Foundation for Homeless Veterans in Manhattan Beach, California
· Disabled American Veterans Auxiliaries in Allen Park, Michigan and Santa Fe Springs, California
· Yankee Air Force Museum in Ypsilanti, Michigan
· Department of the Army (Fort Hood, Texas)
Target gives to diverse causes that reflect all types of guests in a wide variety of communities. Any non-profit organization may apply for a grant. In general, the organization's program or service to be funded by the grant should meet our giving guidelines related to arts, education and family violence prevention. While every cause is worthy, Target is unable to grant funds or partner with every organization. For more information that describes the guidelines and the application process, visit any Target store and ask for the grants brochure or go to target.com and click on "Community Giving."
Thank you again for taking the time to inquire about this issue. We wholeheartedly support our veterans and active duty personnel. We appreciate the opportunity to personally convey our commitment to you, and hope you will share our information with anyone who has contacted you about this issue.