Saturday, October 11, 2014

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Fundraisers at my door, and not a cent to spare

The door bell rang yesterday, and the dogs went wild as usual.  Fortunately, I still had their leashes on them from a recent walk, so I was able to grab it and control them and they acted like they wanted to eat whomever was at the door. (They are Minature Schauzers, so aren't dangerous, just bossy.) Anyway, there is a young man at my door.  He had a chipped front tooth, and he was holding a pretty big coupon book.

He was talking pretty fast and slick.  All I could make out was "help me out, Help me out, something-something-coupons".  I replied, I've purchased those before and I never use them, so no thank you.".  That wasn't good enough for him.  He insisted, "Help me out, help me out.... don't you want to help me go to college".  I stifled a laugh and said, "how old are you?... twelve?. "  Because he looked... well.... twelve, and he replied, "no, i'm 16".  "Ok... that's cool, but I'm still not buying, " was my reply.  "But it comes with the Sunday paper and more coupons.  You need the Sunday paper", he insisted.   I replied again, "no, whenever I order the paper, it goes from the driveway to the garbage bin, no-thank you", I said firmly, and began to close the door.  "You don't want to help me out?", he said incredulously.  "Not today, I replied."  "But you NEED coupons he said, help me out", he demanded. "No, I do not, I replied.  There are very few coupons that are for anything healthy.  I am not interested", I said firmly, closing the door further.  He got agitated, and went back to his first schtick, flipping through the coupon book saying "help me out, help me out"... I said, "you are getting too pushy.  NO."  was my final answer.  He was still doing his plea as I gently closed the door and walked away.   This whole conversation happened as I was wrestling with my dogs' leash... they clearly did not like this little dude.   I checked outside when he was gone to make sure my tires weren't flat... He had THAT kind of vibe.

I used to entertain young people at my door, buy whatever they were selling, but the last few times, I got ripped off.  I purchased items that never came, or the person claimed to be a neighbor and were not, or the item I received was just crap.  I am going to put a no solicitation sign on my door from now on.  I wonder if I can find an attractive one.  Plus, I have enough relatives and family friends selling things that I still get my fill of magazine subscriptions and wrapping paper.  Know what I mean?

But it doesn't end there.  This past week, there were no less than 7 requests for donations in my email box.  Most were for organizations I had given to before.  Others were for organization that I want to support.  But I am not rich.  I cannot give to them all!  It broke my heart to get an email letter for Georgia Shakespeare this week that they were closing their doors, but If I had given them ALL my spare money last month when they sent out their final plea, it would have not been enough the fill the void they needed, and so where would my little donation have gone.  This is truly exhausting, and I am bewildered as to what has broken somewhere between corporate giving and crowd sourcing.  Clearly, large organizations have found better tax loopholes then charitable giving, because so many groups that used to depend on these charitable organizations are dying.  At the same time, crowdsourcing is doing wonderful things for small organizations that don't need a lot of money, but it still only goes so far.  When they need that next round for bigger and better funding, it still seems to fall short.

So right now I am looking at what I have to give, and the organizations that have asked for money this week, and asking myself, who needs it the most. Who is most deserving?  I have to tell you that the answer is my two college age children.

Is anyone else in this dilemma?


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