Donating Money To Charity: My Story
Donating To Charity
I started this hub with the idea that I was going to write an informative article on my personal experience with donating to charity, and, how hard I am trying to keep myself from being the next person on the street. However, the more I wrote, the more it seemed like I was blowing off steam, and not really creating anything helpful.
I worked for 15 years in a business that has a very close relationship with charity. I have seen the generous side of those who want to give, and, the greedy side of those who want to take advantage of those who give. I heard sob stories of the unfortunate, reported by people wearing $500.00 suits, and driving their Lexus back to their multimillion dollar homes all on donated money, while the people they claim to help live in a cubby hole under the expressway year after year.
In my years of working for this company, I have seen the true face of their generosity, which is basically playing off people's sympathy. They create programs that appear to help the less fortunate, while in reality their main goal is to drive sales to their business. What you see as a food drive, is actually an attempt by these businesses to get people to come through the doors of the establishment to shop. They usually do these drives around the holidays, when they know that people are in a giving mood.
I once sat in on a corporate meeting where they discussed how their food drive brought their sales up by 10 percent to the tune of 5 million dollars. Is this 5 million dollars going to charity? No it isn't, it is all going right into the companies pocket. The food that is purchased with this money might go to a food pantry, but the profits from the drive just go into the companies pocket. When they say they will match dollar for dollar, don't buy it. They usually only give back a fraction of a cent, it's all in the fine print if you have a microscope to read it.
Donating money to major charities is no different. They used to come to our company on their annual donations drives. They talk about their success stories, and, the millions of dollars that they bring in every year, but, say little about where the money is going.
I recall one meeting where they claimed they had paid out 2.5 million dollars to the needy which was 15 percent of their annual budget. I raised my hand and asked what happens to the 85 percent that is left over? Do you think they would answer that question? The answer was that they have their costs. I'm guessing a lot of $500.00 suits, $100.00 shoes, and the brand new cars that they pulled up in. After hearing that, I put a stop to my weekly donations immediately. Get back to me when you give 85 percent and keep 15.
You may think 2.5 million dollars is a nice amount going to help people. Well, you would be duped. This money just goes to trickle down organizations in their corporate umbrella, each one of them take their 85 percent, and what is left over might be less than $1,000.00. which might be used to buy food and supplies for a small handful of people. So, when you hear that a corporate charity is non-profit don't believe it. The money is all used, but, a majority of it is used for their own interests, such as advertising promotions, and shiny new office buildings all done with your donated money.
Just Me trying to hold onto my apartment.
If you want to donate to a specific charity, contact them before you donate. Don't be afraid to ask them exactly where your money is going. If they won't give you an answer, go to the next charity on your list, I'm sure there are also other resources that you can check to see if the charity gives, or is just a big money sponge.
I don't want to suggest any particular charity to donate to. However the ones I feel the most compfortable with are the Red Cross and the Salvation army. Mainly because I have seen the work they do in my community, while other who claim they are helping do nothing to help when there is an emergency. And, some are just really good liars.
Another thing that kind of bugs me is local food drives. If you are donating to your local church, that is one thing, but, the ones that are sponcered by supermarket chains are nothing more than an attempt to get you to come through their doors and spend your money. They make huge profits from this, and give little or nothing back.
You should be smart enough to know that people are hungry all the time, not just around the holidays when supermarket chains say they are ready to give to charity. They will have a smiling spokesperson saying how happy they are to give, while their profits soar. And, they usually use the local media to spread their word, knowing that their advertisement will be seen by hundreds of thousands of potential customers. A lot od them even offer "special" gift cards to help the needy. It's a gift card, and money spent in their store.
So, don't fall into the fill up this semi at thanksgiving trap. Save a little money each week, buy some groceries and take it directly to your local food pantry or church that accepts these kind of donations. Don't wait until it is conveniant for the supermarkets to get your money. Just try going into a supermarket when they are not have a drive and ask them to donate any food that they might be throwing away. They will think you are crazy.
I have seen the grocery chain back rooms, throwing away hundreds of pounds of perfectly good food every day. Either it is about to reach it's sell by date, or it doesn't look presentable, or it was something they no longer want to sell. They could donate it, as it is all written off as a business loss anyways. but, no, it all goes into the trash. very sad,
Donating To Individuals
There are a lot of internet sites that people can join, where they can ask for donations. These websites have been mentioned on various news programs, claiming to offer hope to individuals who can not get help anywhere else. one of them claimed that people were getting thousands of dollars a month in donations. So, since I am in the process of being homeless, I thought I would give these websites a try. Thinking, even if I just get enough to keep me going until summer, that would be great.
I'll tell you what I have received so far, a whopping ZERO dollars in donation. People will email you offering donations, but, you can tell they are only scammers trying to get your money. They usually want your full contact information, so that they can send you a large check. However, when you get this check, you are instructed to send a portion of the money to someone else. So, right away, you know the check is going to bounce.
The best ways to send money to anyone is by using a Pay Pal account, or by sending cash. However, if you are going to send cash, send it anonymously. Address it to the person you are donating to, but, but don't put your return address, name, or anything that they can use to get your personal information, and, if you send a letter with your donation don't sign it.
If you want to receive cash donations, use a p.o. box. I'm not sure how smart criminals are these days, but, I would guess that giving out your address is not the best idea. I did that, and, I am waiting for the aftershock. But, all I have to say about that is, if they are trying to use my name to get a loan, good luck getting that gumball. My credit is total crap!
As of June 10th, 2011, I received an eviction notice from the apartment complex where I live. They want $744.00 for an apartment where the rent is normally only $550.00. I did not know that I was in the process of being evicted, because I was out of town taking my brother to the Veteran's Hospital in Ann Arbor MI, where he is being treated for brain cancer. I'm guessing that the notice has been in my mailbox for several days. So, I don't know what is going to happen. I haven't ever had this problem before. I used to earn $23,000.00 a year when I was working, but now I have zero income. It really hurts to see how fast you don't matter.
If you would like to help me in any way. Please email me at Bri_man2007@yahoo.com. Who knows, maybe I'll find someone who has one the lotto, who can spare a few dollars. Or, an oil executive who is sitting on billions. Of course I was just joking about that. I'm trying to have a sense of humor when I need it most.
Thanks very much for reading. I hope you enjoyed my hub, and found the information useful.
I hope you are enjoying my hubs. Writing this one was tough.
My living room
For those of you who have been reading my hubs, I want to take this time to say thank you. The last 6 months have not been the best for me. I was evicted from my apartment back in August of 2011, and had to move in with my mother. I may have told you about my brother Dennis, and his battle with brain cancer. Dennis passed away on April 13,2012. Which is part of the reason why I have been absent from Hubpages for so long.
The new information that I wanted to pass on, was that my mother died in April of 2014. She was shortly followed by my sister Linda in October of 2014. My mom was 76. My sister Linda was 53. She died of a heart attack, leaving behind her husband Robert. She had no children of her own. There are only 3 of our immediate family left. Myself, my older brother Charlie, and his wife Karen. My oldest sister Debbie lives in Florida with her husband Hue.
I am still living in Brohman, Michigan. I am living in my mom's house until I can get enough money to move back to the city. I do not wish to stay in Brohman, as the bills for living in my mom's house are way more than I can afford alone. My winter electric bill has run up to over $1,7000.00. And, other bills associated with the house are killing me financially.
I was also diagnosed with my own medical problems in 2014. I have fibromyalgia, and constantly need to have medical procedures done to solve other heath issues that rise from having fibromyalgia. On the 25th of April 2016 I have to have an ultrasound on my back to see if I am having kidney or liver problems. I also have to have something called an EMG on my legs to check for nerve damage.
I am assuming that putting my address on this hub is probably why it has not been published. However, you can find me on Youtube by doing a search for brimancandy. My donation video is on my video list. I also have other videos on there that you can watch. One includes some of my artwork, and other's include places I have been.
I hope you liked my hub.