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April 12, 2009

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You got on the list because churches and religious organizations sell their mailing lists.

Terry Schiavo's family sold the list of everyone who donated to them. Some reports estimated 7K just to use the list once. Classy, eh?

I've been pretty lucky; in the six months I've had my own mailbox, I've only gotten one bit of junk mail similar to this. Supposedly, if I sent away, they'd send back a free, ABSOLUTELY FREAKING FREE NO QUESTIONS ASKED OMG ORDER NOW IT IS MAGICAL!!!, little statue of the Christ with a key chain ring . . . that had been blessed and prayed over so that it would be 'good luck'. The way they went on about its magical powers, I couldn't help but think it actually sounded downright Satanic.

Most people probably get stuck on these mailing lists in the first place by sending away for 'free' gimmicky junk like this. I couldn't throw it in the trash fast enough.

Interesting post. I am currently reading Money, Possessions, and Eternity by Randy Alcorn and he addresses this topic specifically. He states (and I agree) that people that support this type of giving (seed offering only to benefit themselves) use God as some sort of a genie, wishing well, or lottery. Where is the "cheerful giving" in that unless they are "cheerfully" awaiting their reward? I enjoy your blog, especially your Sunday posts. Keep up the good work!

A few years ago I noticed my mom was getting a ton of mail every time I would go visit. She had gotten to the point where she was sending out small checks to every charity that sent her something. She had keychains, magnets, prayer books, you name it. So I printed out some info. on some of the charities and showed her how much of the money went to expenses and how much actually went to people in need. It took a while but I finally convinced her to only give to the few she felt the most strongly about. I did some research to try to find out how to get her off the mailing lists but there is nothing like the list you can sign up for to stop junk mail. I pay her bills for her now and sometimes I'll see where she has written a check to a "charity" for something they sent her. It's sad the way these charities prey on older people. She really felt like she was doing good and making a difference.

This isn't a televangelist appeal, but another form of obnoxious fund raising anyways.

I live in a town of about 6000 people in the northern midwest. A few years ago a community family's kid died of cancer. They started a foundation to raise money to "Fight Cancer". They give a big presentation to the grade and high schools here each year and get the school kids to go out and do fund raising for it.

My siblings are both in school still and keep pestering me to donate. Every time I ask them "Ok, what do they actually _do_ to fight cancer" and no one seems to know. My brother just keeps trying to make me feel bad and saying "but it's for a good cause".Even if they are forwarding the money to a research facility or something, I would rather send my money directly and cut out whatever overhead the foundation has...

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