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November 29, 2007


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I was visiting my brother a few months ago, and somebody called the house. My sister in law answered, asked who was calling, and was hung up on. She's convinced that it is the local fire department trying to talk to my brother about donating again this year. She told him that he isn't allowed to, because she's convinced that they keep calling and hanging up on her when she answers instead of him.

No idea if they ever determined if it really was the fire department or not. I should find out.

These can be tricky calls to handle! I sit there thinking, ok, the guy who might save my house when it is on fire wants $20- what's so bad about that? Will they put me on the Do Not Rescue list if I don't donate? :)

I got one of these calls recently and the guy was really pushy and somewhat rude. I doubt it was actually a fire fighter (I hope). I tried to be polite (what if he is the guy who will save my house), but I finally had to hang up when he wouldn't take no for an answer.

I give all my charity at the cash register throughout the year. They ask for a dollar for diabetes or MS or finding homes for pets. I always say yes and that is an easy way to give to good charities that are vetted by the company.

The only draw back is you can't right it off at the end of they year but it is no big deal.

The Bob --

Depends on what you define as "good." If you mean, "addressing worthwhile causes", then yes, I agree. But look up some of those charities using Charity Navigator and you'll see they don't spend their money that effectively. You'll be surprised -- I know I was. is another site to research charities. I think you may have to register for certain things though.

Sadly veterarns charities are also something to look out for. There's a lot of completely bogus ones out there (I'm talking about the kind that give 2% or less to helping actual vets--so of your $20 donation, 40 cents would go to vets!!). If you want to help veterans, either use charity navigator or talk to local vets groups.

It's a sad pattern--firefighters, police, veterans, sometimes pets and children (sick, lost, abused)--people exploit our desires to help the noble and vulnerable. Telemarketing companies take them for a 70% ride or people just for fake charities. :(

I got a call a couple years ago from a very pushy "policeman". I finally said I would donate, he suggested like $50. I said that I didn't want to give that amount becuase I donate to several organizations. I would like $10 or $20. He said it wasn't worth the postage to send me the materials. I said sorry, and hung up. Yep, I'm never go to donate to any police/firefighter telemarketer!!!

Why on Earth would anyone consider donating money to police or firefighters?
I believe that's why we pay taxes, in order to fund emergency services! And before anyone goes crazy, just know that I'm a retired police officer.

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