Sorry… This wallet is closed.

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[Something Uncharacteristically Serious, and Non-Humourous]

If I get one more flyer, email, or person at my door wanting me to “open my heart” (by opening my wallet), I’ll puke. My heart, and my wallet are closed.

Seriously.

I understand that people need help. The earthquake, the hurricanes, the tsunami, the diarrhea – whatever the hell the problem is – I’m can’t give any more. I’m “disastered out”. There are posters in the bank, the mall, the post office. Fuck, there was even a poster in the bathroom of the doctor’s office. Give, Give, Give, Give.

When I paid for gas this morning, the guy at the counter asked if I wanted to donate my change to the earthquake relief.

[ME] Donate my change to what?
[HIM] The earthquake relief, for the earthquake in Pakistan.
[ME] My change is $25.00.
[HIM] Yeah, you could donate it to the earthquake fund. Or, even just a part of it.
[ME] No. I think I’m going to donate to the ME fund today. The government is sending $20 million anyway.

Then, he just gives me this look, like I’m some kind of heartless bastard. I’m not a heartless bastard – I’m just tired of sending money, or giving money to people who come banging on my door – or being harrassed everytime I go to buy something, and they ask me to donate more.

The $20 million that Canada is sending pretty much came out of my pocket anyway. Well, mine and everyone else’s. Couldn’t that $20 million be put to better use? It will make me sound like a prick, but – I can think of plenty of things they could do with $20 million – right here at home.

Winter is fast approaching. There is usually snow on the ground by Halloween, and if what those fucks at The Weather Network are saying, it’s going to be a long one. Anyone who lives in Ontario knows that temperatures often hover at -20 to -25 for the majority of the season. It’s hard to keep warm.

So, imagine how hard it is for families who have no way to pay for their heating fuel this winter. Or, what about the kids whose parents can’t afford snow suits, mittens or toques? Or worse, the people who live on the streets? People here are going to die this winter. Why send my money overseas?

The City of Toronto has trouble keeping shelters open. There never seems to be enough money to make sure that the homeless are taken care of. That they are warm and safe, out of the cold. And, every day, some poor homeless bastard has to be pried off the metal grate that his body has frozen to. Or, he has to be chiseled out of a snowdrift. Even worse than those that have died, are the ones whose hands or feet have frozen solid. Kids too. This happens here. In my country. Why send my money overseas?

There are kids with empty bellies, and mothers who can’t afford formula for their newborns. Dental work, prescription drugs, glasses, clothes. Needed here. And, if it wasn’t for the generosity of people here, they would have to do without. Our government doesn’t give two shits about the young, the homeless, or the hungry here at home, yet they send $20 million dollars overseas. I know that the earthquake killed nearly 30,000 people. But, they are dead. $20 million dollars won’t bring them back. That $20 million could build or fund a shelter or two, and there’d still be money left over to help Canadian families in need. Not by giving them a cheque – but by making sure they have what they need.

Donating money does nothing, because the first thing that happens, is some kind of bullshit “administrative fee” is taken off the top, and put neatly into some asswipe’s pocket. That $25 that I didn’t give to the guy at the gas station? I bought the guy sleeping on Front Street a sandwich and a hot coffee. And, when it gets colder, we’ll donate boots and a snowsuit or two to the Adopt-A-Child program. My wife and I will shop for food to donate to the food bank, and our kids will donate some of their toys. Like we do every year.

Pakistan is not a priority for me. And, neither will be the next country hit by disaster. The money that I save by not donating, can be used here. Helping to feed the people who live in the community where I live and work.

Call me a heartless bastard, but charity begins at home.

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13 Responses to “Sorry… This wallet is closed.”

  1. Deadly Female Says:

    No, I won’t call you a heartless bastard because I think you have sound and generous heart

  2. true that…

    peace…

  3. Evil Minx Says:

    I’m with you, honey… 100%.

    In addition to my duties as Evil Minx, I volunteer at a local community centre. I also donate clothes, and food, and household items if and when necessary, and help distribute food packages to the elderly and infirm.

    And i do it for precisely the reason you stated, Corporal KYA:
    “Donating money does nothing, because the first thing that happens, is some kind of bullshit “administrative fee” is taken off the top, and put neatly into some asswipe’s pocket.”

    I see it as something that i need to do in order to remind myself how lucky i am. Not that the earthquake in Pakistan, or the hurricane victims in New Orleans or anything else are not worthy causes, heaven forbid. It’s just that by *actually* giving of myself, I feel like I’m really doing something.

    And wherever it starts, i don’t see it as charity. I see it as me being the kind of person i would want others to be to me if i found myself down on luck…

    Corporal, you definitely kick ass.

    Love you, Minxxx

  4. Totally totally totally agree with you Darling Corporal Boy…

    I was always taught that charity begins at home…and after all…if your home life isn’t sound and sorted then what base do you have to stand on to be dispensing (well intended) charitable gestures to others?

    Love
    Mermaid Girl

  5. I agree 100% with you. When I heard about the $20M my first though was couldn’t it do more good here at home… And, as you, I thought that maybe I was being heartless. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in feeling like this.

    I think that instead of doing what may be politically correct, we should just do what’s right.

  6. The Venting Housewife Says:

    I will give food and clothing and supplies before I give money. Because the people who need it, never see it.

  7. Yeah, I totally agree…

  8. Fair point and well made, Corporal.
    On the other hand, if our various governments could fund everything they needed or ought to, we wouldn’t need charities. Equally, if governments taxed their richer citizens to the full extent that they could or arguably should, they probably could build a lot more of those shelters, but then their richer citizens wouldn’t have money for things like venture capital, foo-foo charity donations to the opera, a Filipina housemaid or that fifth Lexus they really need.
    We were born in the first world. We have a roof over our head, clean water to drink and pretty efficient medicine. We take a lot for granted.
    Yeah, I’m all charity-fatigued out, too. But the cost of one more lunch isn’t going to kill me, while the want of one might kill a kid in Pakistan. I’m not sure I care if my money goes to pay administrative fees, because my money will mean someone else’s money can do the heavy lifting.

    L

  9. AnonymousBlogger Says:

    I agree. I feel as bad as anyone about the earthquake, etc, but am I going to send money? No. Like you said, the gov’t is sending money, basically on our behalf. Is that $25 going to help them out that much? I don’t think so. Not when everyone is already sending so much money.

  10. Inquisitor Says:

    Perhaps the phenomenon of being ‘disastered out’ is due to too much focus on the effects rather than the cause. It is emotionally, physically and financially more tiresome to focus on bailing out the water rather than stopping the holes – especially when we mistake the effects for the cause.

    peruse the following if you will,

    http://the-heretic.blogspot.com/2005/10/aid-games-anyone.html

    http://the-heretic.blogspot.com/2005/10/when-death-tolls-but-bell-doth-not.html

    http://the-heretic.blogspot.com/2005/10/avian-time-for-humanity-to-pay-its.html

  11. Anonymous Says:

    we send money to a part of the world to fix houses that in a month a car bomb will explode, or get bombed!!! so realy we are just fixing up the battle ground so they can play war and blow it up again!!!
    and wow the world seems alot like that movie “day after tomorrow!!” first the tsunami, then te hurricain then the deadly earth quake!!! watch out now for the birds flying in the wrong direction and then it is back to the ice age!!!!

    -nickers

  12. warcrygirl Says:

    Holy Shit, you sound like an American! 😉

    I gave for the tsunami relief and for NOLA (and Mississippi, let’s not forget the ENTIRE coast was destroyed). We have poor and hungry in my town as well so when it came to helping the earthquake victims I was all helped-out.

    God helps those who help themselves, or something like that.

  13. captain_howdy_girl Says:

    there you are, I had to skim, skim, skim to find a post from you. as soon as I saw the colourful canadian money I thought “there’s my favorite man”
    What I don’t understand is when I go to the Giant Tiger (u know what I mean) and they want me to give a donation at the cash for something. WTF? I wouldn’t be shopping there if I had any money now would I??¿¿¿¿ FYI it’s veggie

    Fuck! word ver! if I hadn’t already typed this I wouldn’t bother.
    I’ll catch you when you’re back on your home blog.

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