What used to be a few times a year, has become a weekly occurrence. No longer for kindness and charity, it has morphed into a gruesome beast whose singular purpose is to keep a king in his throne. I’m talking fundraising, people. And it’s outta control!
The days of simply shelling out for Girl Scout cookies free of caloric regret are slowly disappearing. Seems like every time I turn around, someone new has his hand in my pocket.
Before you decide to hate me, hear me out. I don’t mind donating my money or time to worthy causes. In fact, I’m pretty generous. If you don’t believe me, ask my parents about the time I got my first job and started shipping part of my paychecks to Guatelayoureasucka to feed and clothe a little boy named Arie. I was 16 and thought I was helping an adorable little kid whose picture was taped to the back of my bedroom door. In hindsight, probably not how my $12.50/month was being spent. Meh, live and learn.
Sadly, there are so many people and causes in need, that we realistically can’t help them all. And saying no is very difficult. I always try my best to buy whatever the kid knocking on my front door is selling, but if a grown woman who has boldly stated she wants to “stay out of the workforce” comes a’peddling her homemade clay pottery that she crafts in her one-car garage while listening to Pink Floyd, I’m not interested.
There is a fine line between fundraising and asking for handouts these days. Is it really someone else’s job to buy your kid’s tuba for the marching band? It’s totally okay to tell Junior he’ll have to play a less expensive instrument. It is not okay to put others on the spot asking us to help pay for it. Let’s be honest, he’ll toot the thing for maybe a year, then trade it in for a girlfriend who requires all of his time. And I’ll want a refund.
I once worked a shoe drive where families were asked to donate a new pair of kicks for underprivileged basketball players, and the idiots in charge of the drive requested Air Jordans only, please! Ummm, no. That’s not a donation; that’s a shakedown!
And let me just state for the record: the next person requesting donations to pawn off responsibility via her Go Fund Me page is going to be directed to my Go F**k Yourself page. I will buy hoagies from you; not a new car for you. I will donate to a worthy cause, not to your tropical island honeymoon destination.
Whatever happened to personal pride?! I’m very sorry that you ignored your plumber’s suggestion to buy a new hot water tank and it has since flooded your basement. Being a homeowner is expensive, yo, and I feel your pain, but making a Go Fund Me page hoping that other people will pay for what you should have been saving for? Ludicrous. Living in a $200,000 home in a nice neighborhood, going on family vacations that you Instagram to death means you can afford the hot water tank.
I know, I know. I’m a terrible person. I won’t understand until it happens to me. Blahblahblah. Here’s the difference between me and those with their hand out expecting someone else to fill it: I have common sense. Like Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster, many claim common sense is but a myth. But I’ve seen it, friends. I’ve witnessed common sense in action when people recognize the difference between wants and needs, between entitlement and charity. I’ll help you, neighbor, but you’ve gotta help yourself first. And if you’re not willing to work for your family, why should I? Sell me some Samoas and be on your way.
Photo credit: belchonock
Jumpin' Jack Flash says
The wisest man in the universe, Dave Ramsey, emphasizes the importance of being generous without being an enabler. He has accumulated millions of dollars to leave to his children, and even has stipulations in his will that they must meet in order to receive inheritance (be employed, not be a drug addict or criminal, etc.). I think the ultimate problem is the following mentality that has evolved in our country and has been further encouraged by Mr. Obama:
RICH/Wealthy people are EVIL bastards and the only way for a poor/struggling person to improve himself is to take money away from these rich/wealthy/evil bastards. So if we aren’t rich, we think we DESERVE a free prize.
It’s OK to ask for help, but do something to help yourself first.
Stephanie Jankowski says
Simmer down, man. 😉
One Funny Motha says
Word to your Motha! It’s truly unbelievable isn’t it? I’ve never even heard of the Fund Me thing. That’s outrageous (although I did have a wedding shower where the couple asked for the guests to pay for their honeymoon – after they had just gotten back from their pre-wedding vacation in the Islands). I don’t know how ppl have the nerve to ask for others to pay for their life. And hell to the yes w/ people need to “recognize the difference between wants and needs, between entitlement and charity. I’ll help you, neighbor, but you’ve gotta help yourself first. And if you’re not willing to work for your family, why should I?”
Stephanie Jankowski says
Oooh! I like it when you’re all fired up 🙂
I agree with you 100%. I’m all for helping out when anyone truly needs a hand. I’ve been on both sides of that fence. I’ve struggled to make ends meet and it is frustrating when you are doing all you can do and still can’t keep up. Sometimes it seems like more people are asking for money than you can possibly take in, and that’s a genuine struggle. But damn, if you’re asking people to pay for your Honeymoon after you blew all your money on a trip to the islands, then you need to have your head examined.
You know who gets me the most? The people that stand at the end of an exit ramp holding poorly written cardboard signs begging for help. Not that they don’t actually need help because I’ve worked with many of those people while working with addicts. The fact of the matter is, if they were actually doing something to help themselves, they wouldn’t have time to stand at the end of an exit ramp with a poorly written cardboard sign, and having worked with them as I said, I also know that about 95% of them are lying through their teeth (or what remains of them). Don’t ever give them money because they’ll be laughing about it all the way home in their Mercedes that is hidden in the parking lot across the street.
The only exception to this was the one time I saw a lady standing on a corner holding a sign that said “Too ugly to prostitute, please help”. I gave her $5 just for the creativity. Also, she was CLEARLY not lying.
Stephanie Jankowski says
Too ugly to prostitute!! I’m dying!
Real Life Parenting says
Ooooh, I feel ya, friend! We know a few that do this kind of crap. Ask for money for gas because they can’t afford to visit, but somehow find enough money to buy themselves dinner at Olive Garden on the way home. Yeah, no.
Choosing to not pay your bills while you spend money on jewelry and going out to eat is IGNORANT! So, when your car gets taken by the bank, don’t think for a second I’ll contribute to your “fund” to get your car back. Sorry, bud, that’s alllllllll on you!
Stephanie Jankowski says
And this is one of the many reasons I love you 🙂
Mary Kay Winkelman says
God bless you! I am so in your corner!! This country is enabling, encouraging generational welfare.as a means of support. I will help anyone in need, but refuse to enable someone who sits on their duff watching a huge flat screen!! I am a firm believer in working for improvement, and feel that people take better care of what they have earned versus given! Look at public housing! I have never seen a clean yard there and wonder what the inside looks like. I have struggled, but do appreciate what I have accomplished. My grandparents told me of “welfare” programs years ago that required recipients to actually work for benefits!! What a concept. Work at a day care and have your kids with you? Clean parks and roadways for grocery vouchers? Sounds good to me!! I could type for hours after working the county system, but I think you got my message!