Like most decent people in the world today, I try to donate to a worthy cause or two along the way to help what I perceive to be deserving people. The problem with this idea is that after you donate once, the folks who got the donation go into a feeding frenzy. If I donate $50 to, say, the March of Dimes on Monday, by Friday I’ll have a new letter from them asking me to sign a monthly pledge or become a sustaining member, or a yearly contributor. Like the old saying goes, if you give a street bum $20, the one thing you can be sure of is he will ask you for $20 again.

I guess they know it will irritate most folks, so some organizations also include a little gift to try and guilt the donor into giving more. You know, like if you stop and go to the bathroom in a convenience store you feel guilty if you don’t at least buy a pack of gum or something. Well, most folks do anyway. I’ve got cheap friends who have figured out if you use the store restroom five times a week, you can save 25 gallons of water on your water bill each month, and never buying anything won’t bother them one bit. I once had a friend who worked for a grocery store, and he waited to go to the bathroom until he clocked in. He said they paid him for 5 hours a month to go to the bathroom. I can’t for the life of me figure out why he ended up getting fired.

But all of the charities give name labels now. I am awash in name labels. I can mail things for 10 straight years and never write or type my return address. I need to throw them away, but I fear one day I may run out and then I will say, “You know if I had not thrown out those Heart Association address labels with the cute beating hearts, I’d still have return labels instead of having to write my address out.”

I guess charities figure writing return addresses is one of the most hated chores in America. Well, that really doesn’t do it for me. Now if they would come match up the clean socks after washing, I might donate every time they made a request.

The worst, though, is the religious donation request. I donated to a help the survivors of the holocaust in Israel a few times. I feel good about that. But now they write me 40 times a year, and they include some type of “holy relic” with the letters. I don’t know what to do. I can’t throw away a holy relic. So now I have 20 prayer towels or ancient replica rods/staffs. It’s like trying to throw away a Bible. No matter what shape it’s in, I ain’t throwing it away.

Listen, don’t even start me on Humane Society tactics. Heck, I can’t even watch the commercials of dogs chained up and in the cold. You can show me a video of Rambo machinegunning 100 people to death and I’ll just shrug, but one dog that looks like he has a tear in his eye and I need a bottle of Prozac. They send these letters about poor Hojo, who was tortured, beaten and left alone, and he will be put to sleep in 48 hours unless I donate $35. Never mind the letter took a week to get to me and the fact either Hojo got saved or he’s long gone by now. I’m probably sending $35.

Yep, my mail is an avalanche of needs. Bibles for Chinese, clothes for the youth home, shelter for Fido, rehab for vets, college for every minority that ever existed, politicians, gun rights, save the children. I can’t do it all, but I can mail a lot of letters and I can do it while holding holy relics.

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