‘Tis the end of the year and time for Funk & Weber to make its annual Stitching for Literacy donations. It’s a pleasure, of course. I can do it online, completely paper- and hassle-free. I get e-mail correspondence and ads from my chosen charities, but no snail mail and no phone calls. It’s a perfect I-love-you-but-don’t-bother-me-and-don’t-waste-paper arrangement, as far as I’m concerned.
However…you knew there was going to be a “however,” didn’t you?
Earlier this year someone died. Well, lots of people died, but I’m thinking of one in particular. I didn’t really know her, but she’s in a community of which I’m a part. In lieu of flowers, the family suggested that donations be made to the woman’s favorite charity: the ASPCA. Yes, ASPCA, I’m calling you out!
The ASPCA is not one of my usual charities to support, but I tend to think well of their purpose. Hey, I did a presentation on the SPCA as a public speaking exercise in 4-H. I like the ASPCA. Or, I used to. So I made a small donation.
This is the result:
I have received stickers, gift cards, holiday cards and postcards, wrapping paper, catalogs, calendars, enough return address labels to address seven-years-worth of holiday cards, and–get this!–fleece gloves! Of course, these all came with solicitations for further donations. The cost of all this stuff probably amounts to more than I originally donated.
GRRR! These are not all from the ASPCA. I believe the ASPCA put me on a list and sold my name. Or something. I never got any of this stuff before that donation. Prior to this, we got almost no junk mail. I routinely call companies that send me catalogs or ads and ask to be removed from their mailing list. If I want to see a catalog, I go online.
When I die, please don’t send flowers, but feel free to plant some. If you are compelled to make a donation to charity in my name, make it to the charity of your choice. In lieu of both of those, do something nice for yourself and someone else. That’s what I’d want to do.
Ugh! And I like the ASPCA. We, too, have decresed our solicitation mail to almost nothing and when we contribute to charities, we tell them that soliciting will prevent further donations. I don’t mind e-mails and that’s how I get catalogs. I don’t blame your sense of irritation and disillusion.