Wednesday 28 Sep 2016

Give and Get
Jennifer Flaten

You are in church, the very uplifting sermon has ended and the collection plate is making its way towards you. After dropping your money, you get a T Shirt imprinted with the Church's logo.

The thought of receiving a T-shirt for donating at church is just crazy, right? No one expects to get something for donating to the church.

You give at church because that is what you do for your church. It is your moral obligation to give to the church so that they may help others. Donating to the church is an essential part of a going to church.

You expect nothing in return from the church except that they use your donation to do good works either to improve the church structure, help unfortunate families or some other outreach program.

You do not expect the church to use part of your money to print up T-shirts, CDs or DVDs.

Yet this is what happens with many charities.

Gone are the days when you gave to the charity and received nothing but the satisfaction of knowing that you donated to a good cause.

Now when you donate it is with the expectation that you will get a T-shirt, CD or DVD.

Some charities even host thank you parties for the donors. These parties are generally lavish affairs that cost a great deal of money.

Yes, the thank you parties honor the major donors, but still a portion of the money they collected for the charity is now going to host a party to thank the people for giving.

How dumb is that.

My annoyance level shot up when I saw this year's ad for the Susan G Koman 3 day walk.

This walk-a-thon is a major undertaking and a super fundraiser. I think it is a fantastic idea. The charity does exception good work.

My problem is with the charity or the walk-a-thon. My problem is with the DVD they send out explaining how the walk-a-thon works.

Why on earth are they sending out a DVD?

First of all, who doesn't understand how a walk-a-thon works. Are there really people out there who need a DVD tutorial on walk-a-thons?

Hello! Is this not why the web exists? You direct people to your web site where they can watch said video on how to participate.

Okay, I figure you need a way to reach the non-internet people, that is what volunteers are for, calling newbie's and telling them how to become participants.

Yes, I know that in the "old" days, it was a pamphlet. It certainly cost money to print the pamphlet and someone had to stuff the envelopes. All this cost money, which is why the web is so fantastic.

What upsets me is that people no longer want to give for the shear joy of giving; they want to give and get.

I think that is just wrong. I give to my favorite charities so they have money or supplies to function no so that I get a gift.

As with any public TV station, Milwaukee public television has a charity drive.

They have an unusual spin to it. They do an auction. All the auction items are donations. You bid on the item, win the item and the station keeps the $$.

Everything including the broadcasting is free. I think this is a super idea. It satisfies those who need to give and get and the station keeps all the money. It is a win-win situation.

People need a reminder that giving; to a charity is something that you do to benefit society, not so that you can get something in return.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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