Friday, April 11, 2008

$1 At The Register

I don't like it when I'm checking out at a store and they pull out this pad of colorful shapes and hit me with "Would you like to make a $1 donation to [CharityOfOurChoice]?" It's always a children's charity, and it makes me feel like a cretin to say "No" after the cashier has just rung up all kinds of super-important items like hand sanitizer and discounted holiday chocolate. But I like to think about it, savor it (the donation prospect, not the chocolate!), make an informed decision...which is maybe too much thought for a dollar. I mean, really. A buck. Well then why doesn't the big megachain I'm shopping in just write a fat check if they want to support a particular charity? They've got way more money than I do. And it's not like they're even matching their customers' contributions. Hey, now there's an idea.

But this week I experienced a different spin on this model: I bought a big pack of batteries for an expensive gadget (that I still feel a little guilt for blowing so much money on, even though I swear it's worth every penny) at Rite Aid, and this came with a $1 donation - and a nifty balloon-shaped banner with my name on it for the fundraising wall - to Children's Miracle Network. I can't figure out why they asked for my approval since it cost me nada, maybe a legal thing?, but this nothing-out-of-your-pocket approach gets the nod from me.

Of course I googled the charity as soon as I got home. It was founded by the Osmond family, raises funds for 170 children's hospitals in the U.S. and gets 3 stars from CharityNavigator - definitely worth a dollar that didn't even come out of my pocket.

Charitable Act Of The Day: Bought a bargain bookbag ($5) to add to the pile for the programs in Mexico I'll be supporting on my vacation next month.

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