A couple of months ago I was shopping at Safeway. The bill came to $164.72 and the cashier asked me if I would like to round up to $165 and give the change to breast cancer research. Of course I said yes. I am a huge supporter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Every year I participate in The Race for the Cure. I give them money anyway and I have no problem giving them another twenty eight cents.
A couple of weeks later I went grocery shopping and I was asked if I wanted to round up for Easter Seals then it was March of Dimes then it was some other thing. It isn't just Safeway either. I've been hit up for money at Giant and other places too.
Here is the thing. Most of the time I don't mind. I will give $.28 to anybody (within reason) but now they are asking for a dollar. Every single time I go to the store. I go to the grocery store a lot. Seriously. I probably buy food six times a week. If I said yes to giving a dollar to charity every time I went to the store it adds up to $2,160 per year. That is a lot of money! And it is a good deal of cash to be donating to just whatever organization filled out the appropriate forms for Safeway this week. We do well and live comfortably, but not that comfortably. Hell, for $2,160 I could buy that new MacBook I've been eying and have change to give to a charity of my choosing. I could also have a record of that donation and I could write it off.
Do you see where I am going with this?
The worst part is that I feel like a real jerk saying no.
That will be $64.89, would you like to add a dollar for Make a Wish Foundation?
What can I say? No way. I am a monster. I hate dying children. I also worship the devil and kick puppies for fun.
At first thought it was a great program. Hey that is a fantastic way to raise money for The United Way or whatever it was. Then after the 15th time I just thought I was being selfish by not wanting to say yes every time, but then I did the arithmetic and I realized that I was getting strong armed into giving away thousands of dollars each year and I started to feel cornered.
When I went grocery shopping the other day and at check out I was asked if I wanted to give a dollar to Easter Seals I actually said no. I felt terrible about myself for about 45 minutes. Dude, I just wanted some strawberries and milk. I could have done without the bonus guilt trip.
It can't just be me, right? Does this bug you too?