Charity, begins at home

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Contribution Chart In the grand scheme of charity, I’m a fan of the “Teach a man to fish” mantra rather than being on the “Give a man a fish” side of things. This is not surprising considering my political views, but it goes deeper than that.

I’m just not a handout kinda guy. My folks didn’t pay for my college. My folks have never given me any money since I left home outside of small sums for birthday and Christmas gifts and when I was out of work for several months after a layoff, I didn’t file for unemployment (though if I had to do it all over again, I definitely would!)

Asking for stuff just isn’t in my genes. Now, if you want to just voluntarily GIVE me things, well now, that’s a completely different story. Please make your checks payable to…

This carries over to my charitable contributions as well. I have absolutely NO problem donating things to charity, and I also give money to church (ahem..*cough* *cough*…when we go).

CareerMom is just the opposite of me. She donates at work through United Way, and she was also once suckered into giving by some group that “gave” her some nifty return address labels. Now she gets no fewer than 8 or 9 charity requests by mail each week, most of which I toss in the recycle bin in the garage on my way in the door in the afternoon (I know, I know…I’m baaaad!)

I’m also not a huge fan of just giving money to a big organization, only to have half of it eaten up in administration costs, or having it go to some faraway place helping God knows whom, with God knows what.

That said, if everyone in the world were like me, it would probably be a pretty miserable place. So, I recognize my own shortcomings.

But regardless of your beliefs on the subject, the very idea of Charity, is that it should come from the heart. It shouldn’t be forced upon you because then, it’s not really Charity–it’s taxes.

With it getting near the holidays, charities are cranking up their efforts to get their piece of the pie this year and my company, like many across the country, have joined them in their efforts. I have no doubt that this is mostly just so Public Relations groups can tout how much money they’ve raised so that when next quarter’s earnings report comes out, perhaps folks will cut them a little slack.

Regardless, I’ve been ignoring the Employee Charitable Contribution Campaign e-mail for about a week now. I have not in the past, nor do I now, have a desire to have some charity automatically deduct money from my paycheck each month. So when I got another one this morning, I ignored it too.

Then, as I was sitting at my desk, my chat program popped up:

ECCC Chat

So, whether you donate or not, you’re supposed to “confidentially” respond whether or not you’re going to donate.
Fine, whatever.

I followed the link she enclosed and here’s what I had to fill out:

CCC registration

It’s not enough to say that you don’t want to donate, but they have to go about it in a way that makes you feel guilty about not doing so.

THIS, is what drives me away from it every year. It’s the tactics, as much as anything.

I truly do hate to sound all “bah Humbug’ish,” but this isn’t exactly the best time to be hitting people up for cash. But I do have an idea for my company and others who REALLY want to gen up Charity contributions:

You give me a guaranteed employment contract for the next calendar year, at my current or better salary and benefits, and I’ll donate.

How ’bout that?

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3 thoughts on “Charity, begins at home

    Allison said:
    October 23, 2008 at 6:33 am

    You got hit up via IM? That’s pretty intense campaigning. I only fall for the return address tactic if it has cute animals on them. They should send me ones with cute babies…I’d fall for that too. Pictures drawn by children…not so much.

    RE: I think that’s really what annoyed me. What ever happened to “charity?” Now it’s almost mandatory. I even got a further notice from payroll that stated officially that I had made no contributions.

    I mean sheesh! I give and do other stuff. We give to specialized needs like “Parkinson’s” since my wife’s brother has it, so a person shouldn’t be hassled at work for not giving to a big national charity organization.

    pamajama said:
    October 25, 2008 at 12:17 am

    I like your honesty. In the last 10 years I’ve become convinced that so much of the money given to charity ends up in some guy’s pocket that I’m just not interested in being a part of it all. I worked as a probation officer for 3 years and it really did a number on my head, I became relatively bitter (or realistic?) We also get calls claiming they’re asking for $$$ for cop organizations & my husband freaks out on them — he’s a cop. It’s all baloney.

    Not to mention the fact that most of the family members who would like to hit me up for money all smoke & drink regularly. If someone really needed something for a good reason, it would be a different story. I also question new policies that high school students must include volunteer stuff on their college entrance applications. Volunteering should be voluntary.

    I think to most people this statement just makes me a bitch! Usually I try to keep my mouth shut regarding my bad attitude, but you started it:)

    RE: Yeah, I’ve contemplated starting another, completely anonymous blog, where I just vent all the time. I don’t know how that would go over. The tag words would probably be a LOT better!!

    washington dc donate vehicle said:
    January 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    It’s a shame that some charities pay out the heads of the organization too much money and not enough gets to the actual cause, but there are still a lot of good ones left.

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