Money, Money, Money

Please stop asking me for money.

When we were kids there were collection tins on store counters, begging for change.

As an adult, those collection containers remain in shops, for anonymous giving.  Several years ago, grocery stores starting asking at check out “would you like to donate to [insert charity name]?”  If you said yes, as a winner they would write your name on a paper balloon/shamrock/rainbow and hang it on the wall for all other shoppers to know that you were a donator.

Me, I would rather make my donations privately, so I was forced to say NO in front of the clerks, other shoppers, sign of a smiling kid starting to tear up. At first I was embarrassed to say no, but the repetitiveness eventually made it easier to stick with my answer.

This weekend I was shocked at the drive-thru Burger King window when asked if I wanted to donate $1 for coupons, for a charity.   NO, I was hungry for a veggie burger and fries.  I so rarely eat food from BK I doubt I would be back to use the coupons.

For some reason, I don’t mind the Salvation Army bellringers at Christmas.  The smiling ones, anyways.  This past winter I had a brief idea of dropping change into each bucket I passed.  I swear, I think those ringers multiplied with that thought, and I quickly began to see 5-10 ringers a day. I changed my offering to giving money to the first ringer I passed each day.

I like the freedom of being able to choose the charities I want support.  There are organizations we help annually. I willingly give to most of my friends and family who are participating in a walk/run/triathlon/head shaving/elephant race.  I buy cookies, popcorn, coupon books, flowers from neighbors and friends.  And yes, we sell some of those coupon books and raffle tickets ourselves.

I am sure that charities must raise lots of money asking every shopper at every store to give to the Important Cause of the Week Fund, but I find it rude, presumptuous. Just let me buy my toothpaste, my milk, my onion rings.  I will make my own donation tonight, from my computer. Trying to publicly shame me into giving money just turns me off. C

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