‘Tis The Season When Charities Solicit

Salvation Army Santa

Every fall and early winter, as the holiday season approaches, we can count on requests at our doors, in the mail and via the media, for donations to help the less fortunate. Indeed, the first mailers from one or more “Missions” seeking money for a Thanksgiving Dinner for some disadvantaged person or persons arrived at my house a couple weeks ago.

Having been around for quite a few holiday donation drives, I know the drill. Any moment now we can expect to see stories in the newspaper or on TV about a given charity being overwhelmed with requests from individuals and families for help, be it food or toys for the kids or whatever. The stories will report that donations are down, food pantries are almost empty, and demand is up. It happens every year. A marketing approach one can bet on.

In past years this annual ritual has left me with a jaundiced feeling of donor exploitation, and I have been less inclined to fall for the tugs on the heart strings these efforts bring.

This year, though, one has to have been on Mars to not know that the plunging economy, housing repossession surge and high jobless numbers are unprecedented, at least since the Great Depression of the 1930’s, and a lot of people are indeed hurting.

Maybe I am turning into a sucker – but I don’t think so this year – when I suggest we all consider giving this holiday season to whatever cause we know will help deserving people.

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.