The Giving Never Ends

Many charities accomplish great things. Many others—and not everyone knows which ones—serve only to provide jobs for people who work for them. The coronavirus outbreak has made many charities frantic in their fundraising, seeing as how many people are now without disposable cash.

I am amazed at the number of television ads for charities that ask for a fixed monthly amount—usually $19 for some odd reason. They include such unusual ads as those as the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) which attempts to support holocaust survivors in Russia and Israel, for $19/month. Then there is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which saves abused dogs and cats (and whatever) from abusive owners who don’t feed and house them properly, for $19/month. This one gives you a garish “collectible” T-Shirt for your trouble.

If you do have some cash, you can easily be charged to death. Those repeating $19 charges never end, unless you make a concerted effort to stop them.

Thanks, I’ll Pass

Look, I’m not some horrible person who believes in abusing animals or elderly Jews. I’m sure some of that money goes for helping people and animals; but TV ads cost a lot of money. Instead of showing shivering, starving animals, I am sure the cameramen should first have refilled their water dish and fed them.

Then there are the telephone ads. Several years ago, when I was still working, I donated some money to a police relief fund. Ever since, I have been marked for a sucker and subject to repeated requests for cash—and not only for police, but for firemen and others. Yesterday, I received a call from a live person who talked over my voice pleading for him to save his breath because I wasn’t in a position to donate. He rudely hung up on me, angry that he hadn’t succeeded in making me snivel guiltily. Even the more responsible callers, try to wheedle a small donation out of me even after I said I wasn’t donating anything to anyone. This gets old fast.

Charities do buy sucker lists, so when you give to a charity, you will hear from at least a dozen others. I was never a philanthropist, but now I am on a fixed income. My guess is that the number of these calls, as well as desperate pleas in the mail, will not taper off anytime soon.