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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I'm Missing That Charitable Feeling

I have been away from home for several days, and I picked up the accumulated mail yesterday evening. As expected, it was nearly all requests from charities for more money, or it was holiday catalogs. And it all went directly into the recycling bin outside.  

I usually donate a considerable amount of money to a variety of charities during the winter holiday season. But this year I don't feel very charitable. Maybe it's because I spent a lot of money on landscaping and other home maintenance this year, as well as paying for my daughter's wedding. I also gave her a chunk of money as a down payment on a car. And of course, I did a lot of traveling as well. Maybe I feel this way because of the distress that has beset a large portion of our citizens following the results of the presidential campaign. And perhaps I feel overwhelmed by the demands to donate. There are so many causes I support -- food banks, hospice, environmental and animal organizations -- that I simply cannot donate large sums to all of them. And truth be told, I hesitate to donate because I know that my donation will mean an onslaught of even more demands for money in the future. One organization, Mercy Corps, still hits me up for money despite the fact I donated only once some 20 years ago! And the Albuquerque Rescue Mission still sends out regular demands despite my repeated requests to stop sending me appeals.
Whatever the reason, I'm afraid there are more than a few charities that won't be getting donations from me this year. I know the need is great, and I will donate to a food drive for the state's largest food bank and to the hospice that cared for my father. But those big checks won't be making an appearance this year.

Perhaps charities need to purge their donor lists every decade or so and stop sending appeals to people who clearly no longer are willing to donate. Why waste the paper and postage on someone who hasn't made a donation in 20 years? And charities also need to be responsive to donors who ask to be removed from their mailing lists.

So I guess this year I will be a Grinch and not donate at the level of past years, because sadly, whatever I give just results in still more demands for money.