Monday, August 03, 2009

Save the Children or $2 on a Chicken Sandwich—It's Your Choice

One thing I hate every summer, as I walk the streets of midtown Manhattan, is having to run the gantlet of earnest-seeming college-age youths with clipboards ready to ambush me with harangues for some charity or other. They work in teams, two on a block, so they can get you coming and going. And there are two of them on every block for blocks and blocks. A lot of people think they're doing volunteer work, but they're usually commission salespeople, just like those annoying bozos who call you on the phone and pronounce your name wrong after a five-second delay. Sure they're generally working for good causes that they probably believe in (albeit some of them administratively top-heavy), but they're working on commission. "Do you want to help stop global warming?" "Do you want to feed hungry children?"

My policy is to avoid like the plague anybody with a clipboard. A clipboard to Pete is like a stake to a vampire. Once those kids do get you they can be so insistent and annoying; their inner used-car salesman is unleashed. I prefer to support charities through the mail and online, on my schedule, and according to my giving preferences. I've given to charities that fight hunger, like food banks and Second Harvest, but I'm always wary of organizations like Save the Children and C.A.R.E., just as I am of the World Bank and the IMF. I have no idea what kind of imperialist propaganda agendas these organizations have these days, but they certainly had them in the past. And so many of those children's aid organizations are religion-based (no, I won't use that dreadful euphemism "faith-based"). No way any organization in any way connected with any religion is going to get one red cent out of me.

After I ignored the Save the Children kids for four blocks running I saw two women giving out coupons for $2 off at Ranch Number 1. I didn't take one, since I don't eat at Ranch Number 1, but after all those pushy kids I appreciated their laid-back approach to coupon distribution, and though it isn't a great job, it's much more honest work than what those charity shills are doing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Anonymous cook says:

Hey, mister proofreader - a gauntlet is an armored glove, often thrown down to challenge a duel; a gantlet is the painful parallel obstacle course dodged by a hazee. At least the way I learned it.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Peter Cherches said...

Not only are you correct, I believe we discussed this fairly recently. Mayor Culpa! I fixed it.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Wallis said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


2:05 AM  
Blogger Peter Cherches said...

Margaret, thanks for taking the time to say hello. I appreciate it.

6:14 AM  

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