When I was considering my next Post on Patch, I didn't want to force anything. But this weekend I had some errands to run with my daughter and came across an excepted social practice that really gets under my skin.
Local sports teams and service departments panhandling for change.
Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing but admiration for the brave volunteers who serve our communities. I have personally witnessesed incredible acts of selflessness. I am happy to support in any way that I can. Donating to police and fire charities are certainly part of what I do.
What I don't like, is when I approach a traffic light and a firefighter tromps towards me with a rubber boot in his hand looking for me to donate. I know what this makes me sound like, but I find this social terrorism off putting.
There is the awkward moment of trying fish through your pockets for cash while secretly praying the light will change and then instantly feeling guilty about that thought.
But while these occassional moments of angst are distressing, it pales in comparison to the school sports teams that camp outside of the foodstore and ask you to contribute to their sports program.
You know what I am talking about. They sit at a table, in uniform, and tell you they need money for their sport. Now I think there is an incredible amount of value in sports programs. But for myself, I know that in my community 69% of my taxes go to the school district.
And that 69% funds the sports programs.
So why are you shaking a coffee can at me when I am racing into the store to pick up diapers for my daughter?
Believe me, I've already filled that can 100 times over from my escrow account when I pay my mortgage.
I do like, however, when teams unify to offer something to the community as a fundraiser. A car wash or a bake sale to pay for an out of state tournament or a training camp in the off season.
But to expect me to be guilted into emptying my pockets just because you angled yourself in the path of the only entrance/exit to my destination is just unacceptable.
So do me a favor and knock it off. Pack up your table and your construction paper sign and canned sing-songy line asking for support.
I support. I'm like a load bearing beam I support so much. But enough is enough. So I am going to implore you guys to stop putting us in this position. Where I have to be grouchy curmugeon who won't donate.
Either that, or I am going to start dropping copies of my tax report into your collection bucket.