Admit it – You’re Cruel to Charities Too!

Ahhh…I finally made it to Saturday. Kaitlyn is happily in her mother’s arms after spending the day with me, the house is ready for our dinner guests, I made up some of my hours from Friday when I had to stay home with a sick Kaitlyn…life is good. Until the phone rings. Ugh…unknown name, unknown number. I can already tell how this is going to go.

“Uh yes, Mrs Donahue?”

Sigh. I know I have a high pitched voice on the phone, but come on.

“No, Mr. Donahue.” Now, no matter what I say from here, the answer is always going to be the same script-fed piece of garbage, so I’ve learned not to bother speaking after that anymore. The silence is obviously uncomfortable for the person on the other end, but the script saves him.

“Ah, yes, well Mr. Donahue, this is [NAME] from the Wake County Sheriff’s K9 unit and…”


Yeah, that’s right, I hung up on him. Why? Because I field 10 calls like this a week, usually on Saturday and Sunday. You’re going to tell me just how important your cause is before asking me to donate to it, then make me feel guilty when I tell you I don’t have spare money lying around. Do I feel bad about it? I used to. I mean, come on…these are people giving freely of their time and energy to support a cause they deeply believe in. At least, that’s the way it used to be. Then the phone calls started coming from people who were obviously being paid to make them.

“Uh, yes, hello? Hello? Mr. Doaoandheuchadfhehue?” Yeeeeaaaaahh. That’s when I stopped feeling guilty and started looking at caller ID. Unknown name unknown number = 5 second hang up in my house, at least when I get to the phone first. I’ve gotten a good rhythm, really; I know just how long I need to wait between pushing my ‘talk’ button and pushing my ‘off’ button to actually hang up instead of just switching to the other line.  My wife has a big heart, though; she listens till they finish and then politely tells them no thanks…four times.

This isn’t to say that I don’t give to charities, though.  My wife and I donate our money where we think it’ll do the most good.  It’s never as much as we’d like to donate, and I doubt it ever will be.  We’ve talked about what to do if we hit the lottery (which is hard to do when we never play because…again…no money just lying around the house), and we’ve named something like an even dozen endowments we’d like to start, but I don’t ever see myself donating to someone who calls on the phone and doesn’t have the cahonies to list their name and/or number AND use volunteers from the community where the money will actually be used.

And don’t ask which charities we give our money to unless you want me to start hanging up on you too.  Remember…I’ve got it down to a science.

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