Today, in my snail mail, I received yet again a batch of letters from charities to whom I have donated, including some who have sent me repeated missives over the years. One such outfit, like many others, had printed on the enveloped, “The favor of a reply is requested.” This is not the first time I have seen such a message.
Now, I believe those of us who can afford to should support the less fortunate — or organizations which promote causes we support, seek cures to diseases or help to those afflicted with said ailments, provide help to veterans and opportunity to children. I wish I could give each letter the attention its cause deserves. But, there are only so many hours in the day — and so many dollars in my bank account.
For the balance of the summer, I have (reluctantly) decided to stop reading such solicitations. As I attempt to de-clutter my apartment, I find such missives scattered around my apartment (saved until today because I did want to consider supporting these groups). As I recycle the paper, I often find duplicates; the same charity has sent me the same letter on multiple occasions. (Would donors be paying to help their cause or for fundraising efforts?)
Instead I have resolved to respond only to personal solicitations from people I know. If a friend rides in the AIDS ride or walks in the Memory walk, I will support that cause in honor of my friends. By the same token, if a friend asks a favor, perhaps a ride to the airport or just an attentive ear, that I will consider with greater concern. And I will treat an out-of-work friend to a meal, including a gift of a dark health and brain food.
We should never lose sight of those in need, even when we feel burden by constant solicitations of our time and for our money.