The Salvation Army needs bell ringers for its annual Red Kettle campaign. The shortage of volunteers has prompted the charitable organization to set up automated cardboard cutouts of bell ringers outside Books-A-Million and Hibbett stores in Birmingham, Huntsville and other cities.
The Red Kettle campaign is the group's largest fund-raiser and provides money for its shelter programs, disaster relief and Christmas assistance.
Meanwhile, a lot of shoppers are saying "bah, humbug" to Target.
The head of the American Family Association calls Target "this year's Ebeneezer Scrooge" because it will no longer allow Salvation Army bell ringers outside its stores. The group sent an e-mail this week to more than two million people urging them to shop elsewhere in protest.
The nation's second-largest retailer, which allowed the bell ringers in the past, says continuing to allow them wouldn't be fair to other charities. Other major retailers like Toys `R' Us, Kohl's and Barnes and Noble also have blanket no-solicitation policies