We've had Black Friday (which now appears to last all week), and Cyber Monday and today is Giving Tuesday. I was overwhelmed when I opened my e-mail this morning. There were thirty-nine organizations asking for donations. And this is just the FIRST e-mail of the morning. I decided to list them here. Some of them I've never heard of before:
The Animal Rescue Site
Save the Children
Juvenile Diabetes Assn
World Wildlife Fund
National Catholic Reporter
Acme Theater Company
IPFF/WHR -- I had to look this up -- it's Planned Parenthood
David Sheldrick Foundation (saving orphaned elephants)
Wildlife Conservation Society
Michael J. Fox Foundation
Human Rights Campaign
Greater Tod Network (this may be a typo on my part)
Nat'l Assn of Free & Charitable Clinics
American Diabetes Assn.
Int'l Fund for Animal Welfare
NARAL (Pro Choice)
African Wildlife Fund
Canadian Breast Cancer Fdn
Center for Biological Diversity
The Million Nets Fund
WISER Int'l (World Insitute for Strategic Economic Research)
Int'l Rescue Committee
People for the American Way
United Farm Workers
Yolo County SPCA
Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep (my old high school)
Save the Arctic Caribou
In Defense of Animals
Doctors without Borders
Every Town for Gun Safety
American Wild Horse Preservation
Oddly, there is no request for additional giving from Compassion. Yet. The day is still young. I can't remember how many of these organizations I have ever, in my life, given a donation to, but not all that many. I am more likely to send a donation to an animal group like the Sheldrick Foundation, groups that help kids, or groups like Planned Parenthood. I sponsored a woman through the Fistula Foundation for a year and they still love me and thank me every year for my support, though I have not sent them money in a long time. Hope springs eternal.
The problem is that all of these groups do good work and help lots of people and animals and at times like this I am sad that my discretionary income is so limited and I can only do just so much. A list like this does, however, keep me from spending a lot of money on silly unnecessary stuff for myself.
$ $ $ $
I went out to my monthly lunch with my friend Kathy and when I returned decided to see what requests I had received in the few hours since I started this entry. I spoke too soon about Compassion. They were the top of the list for the Giving Tuesday afternoon. At 2 p.m., I had received requests from 11 more charities and repeat requests from several organizations that are already on the list.
Compassion International (offering "free shipping on goats")
Cap City AIDS Fund
All Out -- Russia
Immigrant Youth Coalition
B Street Theater
San Francisco Chronicle Season of Giving Fund
Oceanic Preservation Society
The Future of America Society
National Day Laborer Organizing Committee
Sacramento LGBT Community Center
Bringing the total number of charities who want my money to more than 50. In one day. I've given up counting. It's too overwhelming. I'm not giving anything to anybody on "Giving Tuesday."
I always look forward to my lunches with Kathy. It always rejuvenates me and I go home on a high.
Today was different.
Today's lunch was .... morose, for want of a better term.
We had planned a gala celebration, happily drinking a toast to Hillary's election. Instead there was nothing happy about today, and no celebration. We shared disappointment, anger, fear about the names that seem to be added to Trump's cabinet, his seeming lack of interest in learning anything about the protocols of the office he is about to assume, our shock (or maybe not) at watching him slowly back up on almost every promise he made when campaigning, shock at his tweets which still sound like a schoolyard bully ("If Crooked Hillary insists on a recount, I will change my mind about not prosecuting her.") Anger that he now decides he can run his business and the government both out of the oval office.
We ended lunch with nothing to say and both kind of slumped out to our cars. I decided that the combination of post-Trump election malaise and Mom frustration is turning me somewhat catatonic.
I strongly urge people to check out this video by Keith Olberman for wondering whether the election that Trump himself himself won was rigged and into the mainstream media for giving Donald Trump’s absurd conspiracy theories the same coverage they would receive if they were serious concerns. Olberman pulls no punches and addresses most of the fears many of us have.