Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Ding Dong .... Cha-Ching!

I'm getting a bit hesitant to open my door when the doorbell rings.

It seems everytime I do, there is someone new on the doorstep asking us to support them with a small donation of some sort for their very good cause.

So far, I've:
> bought lottery tickets for a private school fundraiser
> bought a case of bottled water to help the local high school choir go to New York City
> offered to sponsor a March of Dimes guy who works at the local supermarket
> donated a bag of clothing to the local animal shelter for a thrift sale
> looked for canned goods to give to the local Boy Scouts!
> still waiting for someone to come sell me Girl Scout Cookies :-)

Obviously I think supporting local philathorpy and activities is a good thing (or else I'm just an easy target!). I like to see my community thrive and offer help for those in need.

We also very voluntarily made a donation to the local NPR affiliate (KERA, 90.1) because we listen to it virtually all day. This we did happily.

Unlike the TV tax we had to pay in Finland - no choice there - grumble, grumble. The TV police come to your door if you haven't registered yourself and started making payments. It used to make me so angry every quarter when the bill came for the tax...I know the logic was that only those who use the service (ie, TV) paid for YLE programming, but I was angered by the lack of choice. Maybe I didn't want to support the type of programming they provided.

In Finland, it seemed that only large multinational organizations were collecting donations - Greenpeace, the Red Cross, Plan, among others had youthful representatives on busy street corners trying to stop passers-by. They always seemed to have a binder with a ready presentation to convince you of their cause. Only then did they ask for some funds.

Perhaps the tax man took care of collecting and distributing funds for the school programs, handicapped, and others in need. Again, no choice on my part. Just a large chunk of my earnings filtered away.

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