Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Give Till It Helps"

Not long ago, in a post called “Help” (November 11), l listed sixteen causes and charities that sent mail appeals for money in the course of just four days. Well, the charities apparently don’t read this blog, either because they’re too busy doing good, or they’re too busy soliciting money. Either way, despite my plea for them to leave me alone – and remove my name from the “Suckers’ List” – the solicitations keep coming, the latest one from “The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children.” (Which led me to wonder, if you made your child sing for company, would that qualify as “exploitation”?)

I know I can’t stop the unending outpouring of requests for money. Soliciting for causes and charities is a business, and in America, you can’t stop business, because that’s treason, and they can kill you for that.

Besides, I know that cause and charity solicitors have their hearts in the right place. You can tell they are decent and generous people, because the causes and charities for which they’re soliciting are invariably worth ones. And when they send out their requests, the envelope almost always includes sheets of personalized “return address” stickers, and on rare occasions, a nickel. (That shows through the transparent window of the envelope, which compels you to open it, because nobody throws away a nickel. Do they?)

My concern is that it’s going to get worse. Despite overwhelming rejection – Dr. M supports a personally chosen slate of causes and charities, and I limit my contributions to the “Negro League Baseball Hall of Fame” and the “Jewish Cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona” (home of the infamous “Gunfight and the OK Corral”) – nevertheless, charity solicitors of all stripes continue to bombard us with requests. How long, do you imagine, before we get letters from:

The American Canker Sore Society

The Antarctica Opera Company

The Bald Horse Foundation

The Fight Against Tight Shoes


Hiccup Helpers

Stutters In-in-inter-na-na-National

Square Dancers For Justice

The American Mudslingers Association

Habitat For Humility

The Jugglers’ Aid Society

Dollars For Dry Mouth

People Opposed To The Acceptance Of The Rejection of Gay Marriage

Restless Lip Syndrome

Mothers Against Dandruff


The Society For the Abolition of Fake Charity Lists

(And they sent that to me?”)

Let me be clear here. I am not an uncaring individual. In fact, I lean far closer in the other direction. Which leads me to fear that, inevitably, my dam of resistance is going to break, and I will helplessly succumb to all requests.

It could easily happen. But then what?

Perhaps, this:

Earl had a problem. He was just too nice. Earl gave generously to every cause and charity he heard from.

Now Earl – a man who gave not wisely but too well – has nothing. Not a dime. Not even the nickels that were included in some of the solicitations. Earl dropped them into a United Way coin box at a nearby diner.

That he can’t afford to eat in anymore.

Because he’s broke.

In this Season of Giving, please help Earl, so he can continue to help others. Or, barring that, find a good therapist who will help him be more selective.

Send your contributions to:

“Pennies 4 Pushovers”

We promise you, this charity is encumbered by no cash-depleting administrative expenses. One hundred per cent of your contributions will go directly to Earl.

Give till it helps…Earl help others…or help himself help himself, one or the other.

Either way, you’ll be doing a nice thing.

And please enjoy the complimentary “return address” stickers. You can just cross out Earl’s name and address and write in your own. Financial considerations prevent Earl for providing stickers with your name and address on them, and Earl’s got such a big stack of his own, he figured, why not share the wealth with everyone? Which is so like him. So very “Earl.”

So enjoy.

And Merry Christmas. Or whatever holiday you celebrate this time of the year. Including nothing.

“Pennies For Pushovers”

Help a man who responded to every charitable solicitation he received…

Until he totally ran out of money.

This is pre-emptive, of course. I have not succumbed quite yet. But I feel my resistance is weakening. It is only a matter of time.

Let me know if you think this charity thing is a good idea. I need some outside feedback, before I go out and buy a whole bunch of stamps.

Wait! As a charity, doesn’t Pennies 4 Pushovers qualify for free mailing privileges?

You know something? I think this could really happen.


Birthday shout-out to Colby Buddelmeyer, who completed the requirements for his Master's in Electrical Engineering, as well as his thirty-sixth year of living on this earth. Well done, on both accounts. And happy birthday from a guy who's never been a father-in-law before, and is enjoying it quite a bit.


Mac said...

It's tough to know where to draw the line but those bald horses just break your heart.

Two old horses with rugs said...

Our cheque is in the mail for your worthy cause Earl.