Monday, June 20, 2011

How Do You Feel About People Requesting Donations Outside of Stores?

Donations Wanted For Everything
Does it get used for what you thing it does?
Many people have a table or booth setup outside of stores, such as Walmart, or maybe your supermarket, where they are either selling things such as Girl Scout Cookies, or perhaps youth selling candy for fund raisers for their local school or maybe their local baseball, softball, or soccer team.  Do you ever donate, or for that matter even give them a split-seconds attention?

Maybe there are people trying to get you to sign up for voting in an upcoming election. Many also want you to sign some petition.  Maybe they are telling you the truth about the petition and maybe they have some hatched-up story, just to get your signature on something not even related to what you are being told. After all, most of these signature gatherers are paid so much per signature they collect.

Many times, there are people from a local religious group inviting people to attend their church, or perhaps they are offering you religious literature.  Do you ever donate to any of these people, or listen to anything they may have to say?

Homeless Warming
By The Fire
Perhaps, there are some people from a veteran's group, or some homeless shelters, or youth groups, trying to raise money for camp for under privileged teens, to help redirect their attention from gangs, drugs, etc., or perhaps they are trying to raise funds for sending the handicapped children in your area to camp for a week.

Some people are truly homeless due to circumstances beyond their control, while others actually prefer life on the streets.  Others, are homeless because they are too lazy to look for work, or due to spending their money on drugs or alcohol.  I have actually met people from just about every category mentioned herein.
Recently, I occasioned to enter a local store, and as many of you already know, I am a senior citizen who is also handicapped, so I depend almost entirely on Social Security for my income.  It's already the third week of the month, so I really do need to budget my money as many of you also do.  I did need a few things, since I just relocated.  My kitchen faucet in the new place was no longer working properly, so I went to see if I could possible just get a replacement part for it, instead of having to replace the whole thing.  Also, as you probably already know, it is getting more and more difficult to get anything as far as replacement parts goes, as most places only offer you an entire faucet setup, or washers, and such.  I ended up finding an identical faucet, though there were no replacement parts carried that I really needed.
When I entered the store, there was a tall, slender black may asking for donations for the homeless.  I told him, that I was sorry, but I wasn't very far from being homeless myself.  Living on social security, and with rising prices of everything from gas to utilities, and groceries, and such, things were pretty tight for me, already.

When I exited the store, he asked me again.  I certainly think he remembered me, an older, gray-haired lady, who had just passed him only a few minuted before.  He was polite, but appeared to have a little attitude, so after I deposited my bag in my car, I went over to talk with him.

I explained that I almost never donate to anyone requesting donations, but that I do help individuals I know actually need help, such as a gentleman who is ill, recuperating from Cancer, and trying to eat as well and as healthy as he can on his limited income.  His mobility is a battery operated chair, and he has to ride the bus nearly all day to see his doctor who is in another city about forty miles away.

We talked for about fifteen minutes.  He was very polite, but I could see that within, he was angry about his circumstances. He said that he wanted to continue his education and get a job that he was interested in, such as pharmacy, or some related field.  He said that he felt, and maybe rightly so, that many people did not wish to donate because he was black.

However, many people who did donate, while I was standing there, certainly were not black.  Some were oriental, hispanic, as well as caucasian.  He apparently had done this for awhile, and said it helped to cover his room and board at the shelter.  Yet, he did not seem to be aware that many, if not most people just don't donate to anything.  Maybe they are concerned about the money not going for the stated purpose, or possibly, they either just don't care, or can't really stretch their money very far these days.  I have heard many people say they don't donate to things, because they just get tired of seeing these people outside places where they shop, and do not wish to encourage them.

A few people dropped very little into his glass fishbowl, or into his locked military-style steel box, and asked if they could have one of the pens that were on the table, imprinted with the name of the charity, which in this case, provides living facilities for homeless, ex-military.

I gave this young man my blog information, as well as one of my E-Mail addresses.  I do hope he contacts me, as I think I may actually have information which may help him have more hope for  his future.
Helping a neighbor
is a good thing
At the entrance to this shopping mall, there are some people, who seem to make asking for money their day's work.  I have seen several people there at different times of the day, who hold a sign that says the very same thing, and it appears to be the same sign, too.  This group is never in front of the stores though.  Stores, and shopping centers, usually require that anyone who sets up a table or booth for donations have a license, or verification that they are actually connected with a legal non-profit organization, so at least you have reason to believe they are at least a charitable organization.  They really does nothing to prove the money is used for what it is claimed to be used for, however.

How many people actually check out charities, to see what portion of their donations go to administrative costs, and how much actually goes to their "cause.?"


  1. Great read Helen. I have not always checked to see if these organizations are legit. In New England, if a black person is collecting for anything, they do better. There is so much "guilt" here, as well as, extreme political correctness.
    As for the charity, once in a while I take a chance.I too have little to spare.My donation becomes an exercise in charity. If the donation is for girl scout cookies, for instance, I say I have no need for cookies but I ask the seller to hand a package to the next "well behaved" child that leaves the store. Tell them that it is for being so good. Whether they do it is up to their own conscience.

  2. Here, as in many areas, there are all kinds of people. Some are still bigots, while many seem to mix well. I have many friends of many different colors and nationalities, and even a few of those seem to have a chip on their shoulder.
    One friend in particular, who happens to be black, is a good hearted person, but has a strong personality, and is at times offensive, perhaps without realizing it. If someone says something back, this person always attributes their "attitude" to racism, instead of accepting that they have said something offensive, or hurtful.
    I've known this person some twenty-seven years, and we get along fine, but not everyone can take this person's strong personality, and this person doesn't seem to know they can be very abrasive, either.
    This person actually grew up in Los Angeles, and still seems to think things are as they were and are in Los Angeles.
    I just hope that they young man I met will eventually see that there will always be people who are prejudice, and there will by sheer numbers also be people who just get tired of someone always asking for money, as well as people who really cannot afford to give. Not everyone is against people of any color other than their own color, or race.