Monday, December 04, 2006

It's a Wrap for Charity

Last evening, I joined my mom in wrapping presents at a local bookstore to raise money for Love-a-Stray. Obviously it's a charity near and dear to my heart, since Love-a-Stray is where we got kitten Gomez from. I was looking forward to laughing at harried shoppers, cheerfully wrapping presents, and raising some money for a good cause.

Let me tell you: people are stingy. We had our first customer after about 15 minutes, and she was fantastic. She knew all about Love-a-Stray, had us wrap a couple books while we chatted about animal rescue and all our assorted animals. She dropped $10 in the donation box and promised to send more money when she had the chance. And I actually think she meant it!

After that exchange, Mom and I were left with a warm, fuzzy feeling. It made me want to go home and pet Gomez and spread the goodwill. Of course, it all went downhill from there.

The next person got 4 presents wrapped and gave $1. One stinkin' dollar. And the person after that was the prize. She had us busily wrapping away. I mentioned that we were from Love-a-Stray, intending to just spread the word and give her a business card. Because really, isn't that why we were there?

However, when I started talking about the charity we were affiliated with, she clutched tightly to her purse. "I'm sorry," she shook her head. "I just don't carry any cash with me. I'll have to bring it next time!"

She then proceeded to tell us about how she stiffed the local high school band, who were wrapping last week, and even the Salvation Army guy. She felt terrible, but what can you do? She doesn't carry cash!

Ummm ... don't go to a CHARITY wrapping table and get your presents wrapped?!? Is it really that hard? Why are you even pretending like you ever intended to give money? If you don't carry cash, DON'T use a service that requests a donation. It's really not that hard.

Unless you intended to really get those suckers at the wrapping table and take 'em for all they're worth. In which case, well played! We wrapped her presents and smiled and wished her a good evening, I think because both of us were so shocked that we didn't really know what to do. Merry freakin' Christmas!


cat said...

What a cheapo! I'm not crazy about pets, but if I were at your wrapping table getting stuff wrapped, I would probably donate like at least 10% of the cost of whatever I had you wrap. There are expenses for the charity, after all.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this. I'm trying to let go of my pissedness! Reading this helped.