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Senior Moments

Category: Aging, General / Topics: Charity Choices and Decision Making Financial


by Dan Seagren

Posted: October 24, 2010

Today I received three solicitations. They want $20, $50, $100 or even $1,000 yet they leave a blank so you can fill in your own amount…

Today I received three solicitations. They want $20, $50, $100 or even $1,000 yet they leave a blank so you can fill in your own amount. Why I am writing is simple. You ol' timers, like me, remember when it was a sad day when the mail box was empty; or in the military when mail call missed you completely. No such luck any more.

I've kept track for the past six weeks or so and rare is the day when I do not get a single solicitation. The most in one day was five. I am also beginning to get repeats from the same outfits. This bothered me until I read recently that it is normal when a donation is made to strike again, and again while its hot.

Now I realize that in the past I have responded to some solicitations because I felt the cause was worthwhile. Not that most solicitations are phony or frivolous. Many are worthwhile causes and are welcome to a point. Were we to respond generously (or even miserly) to all of them, two things would happen.

First, we'd go broke sooner or later. Secondly, the requests would proliferate because we are a soft touch (we responded) and because we are easily and readily bartered with other solicitors. I have used a different signature, like D. Robert Seagren or the word Rev. with my real name and then watch to see how these play out. Of course it is big business to seek funds this way for good and not so good causes.

Tearjerkers, either a picture or story, we're told are effective and we've seen these on ads as well as in letters. My senior moment occurs when I toss a perfectly legitimate request into the trash bin. It probably should give me a sigh of good riddance rather than a moment of remorse.

On the other hand, my senior moment would be worse if I received no mail, if no one cared about my birthday or anniversary. Or if I didn't get a reminder that my utility bill is due. So, today I tossed three perfectly legitimate, serious requests for a bit of help during these tough times. Did I enjoy it? Not really. But then, tomorrow will be another day. And more mail. And more decisions.
Yet tomorrows for seniors are pretty welcome, aren't they?

P.S. The day after this was written, I received 7 solicitations. Hmmmmm.

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Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: October 24, 2010

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