The Guilty Do-Gooder?


As I was rushing out of the grocery store last week, a young guy holding a petition called out to me:  ”Want to help save a child’s life today?”  And just like that, my shopping cart starting overflowing with a big old guilt trip.

As you may have guessed, it’s not that I don’t want to save a life… I just couldn’t be bothered at that precise moment when I was rushing to pick up my kids from school.

I thought I couldn’t feel any worse, but later that day I told my friend Jane about how annoying and intrusive I thought the guy’s whole tactic was, when she turned the tables and became annoyed – with me!

Jane explained that she used to collect donations for organizations and that the grocery store was the most effective place to do it.  Plus, the children’s organization in question was way more important than me being a little pressed for time.  After all, every dollar helps.  And then it hit me – BAM – Double guilt trip!

So – what’s your take on solicitors who congregate in front of grocery stores?  Do you dread the sight of them and resent that they guilt you into a donation?  Or do you salute them for being wise about where to raise the most money for their cause?  If you can afford to, should you always donate a dollar or two in this situation, or is it okay to say no if you are pressed for time?  Tell us what you think!

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3 Responses to “The Guilty Do-Gooder?”

  1. Ian says:

    Those charity-solicitor people plague me every night by the Columbus Circle subway station on my way home from work and I hate them all! Even when it’s a cause I support, I would never give those people a dime. It’s worse than a call at home in some ways, because it’s litterally in your face. End face-spam I say!

  2. Lisa says:

    Although we would love to give to everyone, we cannot. We must choose what is closest to our heart and give to that cause. Unfortunately, that means we have to say no often. I used to collect for infant welfare in my neighborhood a few times a year. It is not pleasant to have that job because it annoys people when they are in a hurry, but enough people do give to make a difference. Imagine however, everyday passing the same place with someone soliciting. How many times can you give….even if you are not in a hurry. And, does the money get to where it is supposed to go??? Yes, it is annoying and another way to get donations is often better.

  3. Louie says:

    You should never feel guilty about saying NO. Yes, this can be annoying when entering a Grocery or exiting, and the store itself should realize this and set policy to allow solicitations to make entering and exiting their establishments a good experience. What’s worse is when the register person at the store asks if you want to make a donation to the stores flavor of the day charity and put it on your bill. Should this be continued?
    If it’s a favorable charity that you want to support and have not done so in another fashion, then by all means do so. If not, then saying NO is appropriate and to the point.

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