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Trader Joe's Solicitations

Original post made by frankly , San Ramon, on Aug 7, 2012

Just yesterday at Trader Joe's there was the often seen solicitor seeking your kind donations to their "charitable" organization.

There is little found in a google search for them.

They are not wanted by TJ's, not controlled by local police, not controlled by local government, but officially allowed to be present at TJ's by property management located in downtown Walnut Creek.

However they must ONLY be inside the blue outlined squares which are clearly painted for donation seekers.

Not yesterday.

Some heavy set gentleman was off to the side seeking not only your dollars but the shade.
Ok with you?

Apparently since I have been informed that many donate to them.

They have a very sketchy background somewhere around Antioch.

Not really a true anything but seemingly a way to seek public donations from kind hearted people.

You can check them out yourself; why not find out where your money goes

Some of these organizations double and triple dip into public funds to keep on going.

From public agencies, on site solicitations, church groups, public announcements for money, and supposedly doing public good for public money.

Where do you want to donate? Who you want to donate to? Are they for real? Truly licensed to seek your money?

Investigate! Think twice and three times when you want to give away your money!


Comments (14)

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Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2012 at 10:40 am

I'm not a stingy person, but I will never give money (much less a credit card number) to anyone soliciting by phone, nor will I give dollar or coin to unknown entities in front of stores.
Do you remember those strange people dressed in all-white (you know, the ones that looked like nurse assistants from Belleview Mental Hospital) that would hang out for twelve hours at a time in front of the big grocery stores? Well, after San Jose's Murky News spent half a year or so investigating the "white folks", they never could draw a conclusion as to where the money was actually going.
Just say Moe! And keep walking. If you want to donate, don't waste 10, 20, or 50% on middlemen. Go direct to the agency or school or hospital with your money.

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Posted by Nancy
a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2012 at 7:41 pm

The big guy you mention is a pro. Hangs at TJs or Lucky. These guys make me very uncomfortable and Trader Joe's is at fault for letting these grifters brow beat customers.

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Posted by Louise
a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm

There are so many non profits and charities. One never knows if they are legitimate. It is better not to give unless you know the organization. Oftentimes, there are groups that are organized to look and act like charities but are really not. Probably many are fronts. Anyone can form a non-profit with a catchy sentimental name. I also wonder about the white unmarked trucks that come to Danville homes to pickup donations. They may not be legitimate either but people leave lots of things for them. I also do not like that TJoes allows them out front, but I ignore them. I did see a lady give the guy money and I felt sorry for her naivete.

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Posted by frankly
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 8, 2012 at 6:43 am

TJs has no control over who parks outside there to play dumb and get cash from customers at TJs.


As I said in my article, no one has control over who parks there except the property owner's management company which is located in Walnut Creek.

Ask the TJ managers who they are and you will know as much as I do about why these money defrauders park outside TJs

Obviously they park there because people continue to donate plenty of money into the pockets of those people.


Bleeding hearts? Uninformed? Want to do good in the world?

Well there are tons of places which could better use that donated cash for better legitimate purposes!!!!

There are plenty of schools, programs, vet groups community groups which would appreciate that money and they are LOCATED RIGHT HERE IN DANVILLE OR THE VALLEY.

Think twice before leaving your money freely to uncertain programs!!!

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Posted by Nancy
a resident of Danville
on Aug 8, 2012 at 8:28 am

Not sure who to believe here but I DID complain to a manager at TJ's and questioned the legitimacy of these folks. Here is what I was told.
1. They doubt they are legitimate but have not investigated
2. They can't set up by the front door and must stay on the sidewalk away from the store/street side.No mention of landlord issue
3. Danville PD will not get involved as it is a freedom of speech issue (yes, that's what I was told)
4. They get a percentage of their take from their group.This from the big guy I mentioned in previous post. (probably 100% as they are the group)
I did see a guy go up and claimed to be homeless and asked if their shelter they are collecting for can help him.Silence. The gal collecting that day was speechless.
Big guy likes to set up shop in front of the DVD rental machines at Lucky San Ramon when the sun does not favor him at TJ's.

Why open a business in Danville with all the red tape regulations,liability and risk when you can grab a surplus ammo box and set up shop in front of a legitimate shop and grift?

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Posted by Fran
a resident of Danville
on Aug 8, 2012 at 9:02 am

Trader Joe's is not at fault as previously stated. Trader Joe's has fewer rights than the solicitors. Trader Joe's and ANY legitimate business is stuck with the bad PR and, possibly, lost revenue from shoppers who turn away rather than face the unpleasantness. The LAW does not protect those paying taxes. The LAW protects the rights of those NOT contributing to the tax base and the economy.

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Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

Folks...most of you are gutless. You put your tail between your legs an open your wallet. Look them in the eye and tell them CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME...MY HOME ONLY.

I don't care what charity it is...I am damn tried of everyone having their hands out and demanding our money.

Thanks for listening...Julia from Alamo

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Posted by Mom
a resident of Danville
on Aug 8, 2012 at 11:31 am

Bravo Julia. If these people didn't get lots of cash, they would not be there! I was in Alamo on the weekend, at Safeway, and there was a PACK of these people! There were 4 adults and 3 kids, hanging in small groups and moving around the parking lot from the store to the bank to the exit on SRBlvd. Tell me, how does a beggar have enough money to COLOR HER HAIR? She gets too much free money, that's how.

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Posted by Stan
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 8, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I really do not see anyone who posted admitting they opened their wallets, so gutless does not apply here. It seems we have a bunch of frustrated people voicing their opinions, tired of the professional beggars.
Keep in mind when you get in their face telling them where charity begins you might want consider who you are dealing with, what part of the hood they are from, and how they settle differing opinions on their turf. Behavior might carry over on your turf.

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Posted by allergic to corn
a resident of Danville
on Aug 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm

I worked and walked to and from BART for 30 years in San Francisco, as well as walking the streets for exercise at lunch and on breaks. There are so many beggars and street people in the City that after about the first week, one learns that the best thing to do is to ignore them and just keep on walking. There are some people who are sick and need to be helped and there are agencies that are open long hours and offer their services to the truly needy and ill, especially in San Francisco. It is better to donate to the service agencies rather than to give to people gathered on the street for some cause. It can be dangerous to even stop and confront some of them, and the last thing one wants to do is to open their purse or wallet in front of them. One should not flash their valuables on the street or on public transportation lest someone follows you to your car or home or off the bus or from the store such as at TJs. The bad guys get up every morning and plan their crimes for the day and you can become a victim instead of someone's savior. Not everyone is truly needy and lots of them are criminals or outlaws or just bums and they will grab your bag and take off, or worse. I did have one thing to say one morning when I was especially tired of having the same characters confront me day after day. At a red light while I waited I asked one guy if he actually thought that I arose every morning at 5AM to get ready to commute to and from work for 3 hours and sit behind a desk for 9 hours just so that I could give him money. He didn't have an answer for that. The con artists wouldn't hang around if they got no takers.

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Posted by frankly
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 9, 2012 at 8:00 am

I shall try one last time to state what the legal ground rules are whether they are followed or not.

TJs is not at fault.

The property management decides what or who can do the money soliciting.

Danville police state they have no control over it since its private property and only the property management decides not TJs.

County Sheriff's department states the same thing.


I called on several occasions to make sure and the same reasons/statements were given.

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Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Aug 9, 2012 at 8:24 am

Well, as they say, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. And I believe the Big Guy is missing the boat setting up at Trader Joe's or Luckys. The real action is at Lunardis and Draegers where the rich folk shop.

Therefore, I am setting up the FFDF immediately (Feed Fat Derek Foundation). I shall park my unambitious carcass in front of Lunardis on any day that isn't too hot or too cold or too rainy, because even deadbeat charities have to have standards. I will happily accept cash, your credit card info, smoked salmon, Grand Marnier, Lunardi's yummy sourdough, or anything else you can find that's non-perishable. And I promise to give 10% of what I take in to some nameless charity that no one will be able to track down, even if their life depends on it. I will be the slovenly one with the glazed over eyes claiming to be a veteran of the Doofistan War.

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Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Aug 9, 2012 at 8:31 am

It comes down to who wants the money more, the beggars, the store owners, or the property owners. Do the businesses care if patrons are avoiding their store because of the solicitors? Do property owners care if they lose tenets because of this problem? The police should act if the owners complain about trespassing, right?

This reminds me of those signs “Do Not Feed the Birds”. Birds are normally pleasant and fun to watch, but if you feed them, they can become very aggressive and attack to get the food they are used to getting. Like Pavlovs’ Dogs, the birds can’t wait for the food to be thrown, so they grab the food while you are walking to a table or grab it from the table while you are trying to eat.

Bottom line, if you don’t give money to these solicitors, they will move on.

Derek: can't get better than your comment!

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Posted by Huh?
a resident of Danville
on Aug 14, 2012 at 9:15 am

Stan is right. Why confront anyone? Just walk on by. If we all do that, they'll go away, guaranteed.
However, I will say, if one of these clowns wants to bring his "game" to my turf, I will defend it, and I really don't care what they bring from their "hood". I'm more than capable, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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