Cumberland Times-News

December 16, 2012

Check on these professional fund raisers before you pledge

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— How many times have you or someone you know picked up the phone and heard a cheery voice greet you with your first name, asking how you are doing and when you say OK.

All the time, you are wondering if this is a long lost relative but after telling you how glad they are that you are still breathing, they announce that they are fund raising for some cause where people are way down on their luck.

They tell you they have two or three levels to give, one at $75 and one at $50, then ask which one is better for you.

If you are one of the seniors upon whom they love to prey, you will say you can’t afford either of those ... but then, they knew that before they asked, and now they try to come in for the kill by coming down until they wear you to give an amount they have goaded you into providing.

Your letter is in the box next day, because it was ready to place in the mail the moment you hung up. It will be there with a dozen others, all asking you to donate to some cause.

Some letters will contain three pennies or three nickels, perhaps even a dime, which they will say will feed someone or do something very good for a deserving person whom they are trying to help.

Did you ever wonder why they did not keep those pennies or whatever and do all that good instead of sending thousands of them out in letters?

Both situations are “rip off America,” hard at work.

What to do? First, do not pledge. Then ask them how much of each dollar actually goes to help the cause.

They may hesitate, for this is something they really do not want you to know. You will find it is not more than 20 cents on the dollar, and most are much less than that.

One I just checked on the Internet actually provides 1 percent. One penny of a dollar actually goes to help someone.

They target the elderly, kind people who want to help where they can,.

Why not, if you have a buck or two, give it locally to a food bank or a charity located in the area which helps those in your community — perhaps your friends and neighbors, perhaps even someone who has done you a kindness in the past.

If you are tempted by one of the professional fund raisers, do check or someone to check them on the Internet. It only takes a moment, and you will be glad you did.

Sam Metz