02 January 2014


On my desk there is a pile several inches tall. it consists of charitable solicitations I’ve received over the past several weeks seeking year end donations; never mind that I already sent checks to many of them in the spring. What is worse is that the ones I have contributed to have shared my information with other organizations who are also inundating me with mail. I contributed to an animal shelter, for example, and somehow I started getting additional mail for every sort of creature imaginable. I gave to a veteran’s organization, and now I get mail from several others. I also contributed to a nature preservation organization. Now I get mail from all sorts of other organizations purporting to be engaged in similar activities. It goes on and on. 
This doesn’t include email requests either. Needless to say I am annoyed as I have to wade through all the stuff I’ve tossed aside for the end of the year. I begin discarding anything that engages in “advocacy.” I’ll only give to the ones that actually engage in service activities, i.e. sheltering animals, not “advocating” for them. If the organization is supposed to be in the nature conservation business but all they talk about is global warming, they’re out too. Then there are the ones that send me stuff I didn’t ask for, like expensively produced calendars making me wonder how they allocate their funds. I also have a lifetime supply of address labels I didn’t request, so I just throw them away at this point. 
Then of course there are the political solicitations, always with the same urgency. Needless to say they also share lists. I subscribe to a few things that could be considered conservative,  but that has led to a flood of others, some of them entirely off the wall. The worst are all the communications with bad financial advice, stock promotions of questionable legality, etc. and others with various bogus health claims. This is certifiably nutty stuff and has nothing to do with conservatism. 
So a lot of this material is pure junk mail, and while some may be worthies, they have  sabotaged their own chances by sharing lists with others. I’m still going to write some checks, but only to those who are engaged in activities in keeping with their purpose, and that don’t have large administrative and fundraising expenses. You can never go wrong with i.e. the Red Cross or Salvation Army.
The bottom of the barrel is occupied by the ones that make phone calls, or worse, have fundraisers making phone calls. I’m on a do-not-call list, so either they are breaking the law or there’s a loophole here. Either way it is irritating, and I just tell them I’m not interested and hang up before they can make their pitch. 

Then there is that pile of magazines I haven’t had time to read, mainly because I’m inundated with publication offers that are practically giving them away, and I’m still curious about everything so it adds up. Some are interesting, but I’m making a resolution this time that I will not subscribe! These piles will not make it into the new year!

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