Friday, March 28, 2014

Charities and Coercion

I just got a note from the company that owns the apartment building I live in about their Spring Hope Drive for Food. Not only did this notice come with the unusual "We can make a difference" slogans, but under Tenant Instructions is "Opt-out Forms available". So if I do not care to participate they want me to fill out and sign a form? I cannot even begin to write how offensive I find this. I know that everyone feels that their favourite charity is great and everyone should support it, but this goes way beyond that. This is so arrogant that it is unbelievable.

I am assuming that they are trying to embarrass their tenants into giving something for their favourite charity. Well, I do not easily embarrass and I greatly resent the attempt. I will do what I usually do to such efforts and try to ignore them the best that I can.

Food Banks have never been my favourite charity. There are just so many charities that you can support and I feel that one must carefully pick and choose what charities you want to support. My opinion of Food Banks is that they may be part of the problem and not part of the solution for helping the poor. I find it shocking that Food Banks have a hard time getting volunteers to stock their shelves. Why are there not the people who go to Food Banks volunteering for this?

This reminds me of when I was working. I worked for a number of life insurance companies and they strongly supported the United Way. I had problems supporting the United Way. It was reported that only 70% of the money they collected went on to the charities they supported and 30% was for administration. I also did not like reports on how much the top people at this charity were making in salary.

I cannot find anything online to support the above statements. There is however, an article in the G&M in 2010 talking about salaries for charities and how high they can be. Mind you, I could not find one talking about the salaries at the United Way.

One thing I did not like about the United Way was it bragging that it helped 1 of 3 Torontonian. Why would 1 in 3 people in this city need help from them? What we need to do is help the ones who really need help. This is one reason I support the Salvation Army. I feel that they really target the truly needy. It took a lot of effort on my part of make sure my donation at the time of the United Way campaign went directly to the Salvation Army. (They obviously did not trust me to donate directly to the Salvation Army, which I did anyway because it is a charity I do support.)

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