How many times have you gotten a request from a friend to support them in a run/walk/swim/trip to a developing nation? I just gave some money to one request as I periodically do, but I’d love to blow most of them off. Oh, wait, that’s right, I do.
Number one, there’s so many of them.
Number two, it takes a certain amount – sometimes quite bit – of the money raised to actually finance the triathlon or what have you. If the person wants to raise money for a cause, I would be more apt to give if it was, “Hey, I decided this year I want to raise money for (fill in the blank disease or cause). I’ve kicked in a grand, would you please give what you can?” I think too often, while part of their heart is in the right place, part of it also wants to see if they can do a 10k. I don’t ask anyone to pay for my training. If I had any.
My feeling on this is also colored because years ago, a boyfriend was going on an AIDS ride in Alaska. He loved to work out, so he liked the physical challenge. He had to raise about $3,600, at least half of which paid for the ride. It was a drag while he was raising it, and he would be gone for two weeks. I didn’t want him to go. I said, “Raise a grand, give it to AIDS, and stay at home.” He went anyway and came home talking about what an “incredible experience it was.” I couldn’t share his enthusiasm, much as I guess Jennifer Aniston didn’t share Brad Pitt’s excitement for his film “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” Weeks later, he finally confessed what I had an inkling of: he’d had oral sex with a female masseuse from New York in a tent in Alaska. What charitable people!