The check out screen at the grocery asks me if I want to donate money to breast cancer today. I feel like a heel when I tap the “No” button. Every week I reject another charity at the grocery. I feel guilty each time. I give to charities, just not the ones listed on the checkout screen.
I quickly came up short on funny things about charities. I looked up charity jokes on the Internet and cringed.
A few examples, “My manager told me that it was “dress down day” today, in light of Comic Relief. So I pulled Susan’s dress down” and “Say what you want about the Make a Wish foundation. But they know how to work to a deadline.” Oh, that’s bad.
I typed into Google “history of charity” and discovered numerous articles which put me to sleep in 3 minutes. Halfway down the page, I hit pay dirt with an introduction to British Charity history. The first charity is 900 years old, at least in Britain, the Hospital of St. Cross in Winchester. Still in operation, you can demand bread and ale when you pass by. What kind of ale and bread is not specified which makes me wonder about quality. Asking is just another thing for me to feel guilty about, so I’m not passing by any time soon. Charities caught on in the early 18oo’s as the Christian thing to do. Solving social problems like lack of jobs with the rich giving to the poor. They sprang up willy nilly. Organizers, large and small, pounced on a cause and gave it a name. The article’s favorite name is the Manchester Society for Relieving Really Deserving Distressed Foreigners or the MSRRDDF in our modern acronym. How they determined who really deserved isn’t specified but I’m sure fights broke out over it.
I decided to form the Society for Relieving Guilt from Not Gifting Charities and I now feel better about hitting the “NO” button at check out.