With Charity For All…

by Curt Kovener 

Charities abound and every one of them claiming to be a good cause. Rarely a day goes by that the Crothersville Times post office box doesn’t contain at least one solicitation for financial help.

One day recently we got pleas from WorldVision and Feed The Children to help provide money to feed the hungry. The Children’s Wish Foundation, National Foundation for Cancer Research, March of Dimes, and National Multiple Sclerosis Society also asked for our financial help.

And then the Guardians of the Wild, and other of requests from animal welfare groups also wanted us to consider them.

I do not know how I got on their mailing lists. Our name must have been secured from other mailing lists.

I figured I buy a subscription to Outdoor Life and American Hunter and to augment their finances, a mailing list is sold to charities of a similar outdoor & wildlife interests.

Nearly every request includes a pitiable photo and an emotional story along with a response card seeking $20, $30, $50, $100 or whatever we can afford to send.

An awful lot of trees gave up their place in the forest to make the paper these charities send out seeking money.

And, I suppose like a lot of you, I get rather tired of the barrage of unsolicited mail, both printed and electronic. Some of the causes seem to exist just to raise money to spend on more mail solicitation and to pay the fund-raiser who is working on a commission.

I have often been suspicious of some groups, wondering if they really are on the up an up.

That is why an envelope, bolding emblazoned CHARITY FRAUD ALERT, caught my attention.

The letter started “You may be the target of a fraud. To find out, please fill out and return the enclosed questionnaire.

“Has anybody ever tried to get your money by making you feel guilty about the plight of others?”

Yes, I thought, that is usually the case. It is a motivator to action.

“Have you ever been told it’s your ‘moral obligation’ to put needy people ahead of yourself?”

Most pastors preach that message of compassion from the pulpit, I thought.

“Have you ever been forced to pay taxes to fund government welfare programs?”

Yes, and I also must help pay for ambulance service, police & fire protection but, gratefully, haven’t had to use them of late. I also help pay for a county jail, but have no desire to take advantage of its accommodations.

“If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re the target of a fraud!” the letter told me.

Looking at the bottom of this Charity Fraud Alert letter was (you guessed it) a place where I could check of the level of my contribution to help this organization fight less than honorable organizations.

A charity designed to do away with charity fraud. After rolling my eyes and mumbling under my breath, the Charity Fraud Alert letter joined its brethren in the recycling bin.

I suppose we should all be aware that completing and returning ANY form, printed or electronic, will probably result in more unsolicited requests for help.