Tuesday, December 13, 2005

More on Charity

Barbara is correct that the original SBQ may have been posed by a nonnative speaker, and I firmly believe in saving the grammar-bitchiness for people who have ostensibly been speaking English all of their lives. Singapore does use English as the language of government. Nevertheless, her English is better than my Malay, so we'll let it rest.

The real question is why do I hate charity stitchers. (I suddenly feel like I'm on Fox News.) I don't. I have no problem with them.

But I do have problems with people talking about their charity. To me, the point of charity is to help people quietly. Do your good deed, then move on. Now, I understand advertising the need for charity. But what you do about it is your business. Another example, beyond the blogging world: I'm not all that enamoured of my company's "holiday exchange" this year: we're supposed to send a list of the places that received our charitable dollars, which will be read aloud (the donations will be anonymous and, of course, the amounts won't be read). This too goes against my grain, except that pet projects will get "advertising." Still, what I do with my time and money is my bidness.

I find it incredibly ironic that people who are worried about how their stitched gifts are received by ungrateful relatives (see SBQ, October 26) would send their stitching to strangers. Do all the women stitching Habitat for Humanity samplers really think those things are so well-loved? That they'll hang in all these houses forever? I'm thinking those samplers are among the first things that come off the walls. In fact, I have a friend who works in a hospital, one where charity stitchers make layettes for the poor and sick infants. The poor mothers hate the layettes. To them, having homemade items isn't a symbol of caring; it's a symbol of being poor. They'd rather have store bought! It's such an irony.

Send your stitched goods wherever you want. Just don't be surprised when not everyone appreciates you.


Cheryl in DC said...

I guess I don't get it -- why would anyone want to spend so much time and effort creating a work of art only to give it away to someone who may or may not appreciate it? I'd rather spend my precious and limited stitching time on projects for my close friends and family and do other things (like volunteer or give canned goods) for charity.

On another note, I think that one should have the choice on whether to disclose one's charitable efforts and one should NEVER be asked to disclose them, especially by employers or work colleagues. I give regularly through my work place in its annual solicitation. This year I changed divisions during the annual event and gave through my new office. The next week at a staff meeting, our charity coordinator not only announced that I had given but gave me an award for giving over a certain amount. She didn't even warn me that she was going to do it. I was a bit surprised, and it really put me on the spot. My employer has well defined rules about disclosing contributions that she violated in the spirit of encouraging others to follow my example. (The big one is not letting supervisors know which employees have and haven't given.) I wish she would've asked me first.

Zohrah said...

I love reading your 'blog'...you truly inspired/inspires/inspiring for/to/at (whatever... grammatic errors you intend to find) me to speak more Singlish/Malay/Hindi/ Mandarin. Thank you. :)

Dianne said...

Just go to www.lovequilts.com. The kids who receive these quilts pick out what theme they like and over the years the quilts keep getting better and better. I have stitched about 40 charity squares over 6 years and have no regrets sending them off or talking about them.
Even celebrities talk about giving to charity (Jay Leno and his motorcycles to raise money for Katrina, etc). You have to encourage people to be generous in my opinion.
Waving from southern Chester county!

Dianne said...

BTW, I have been to enough thrift shops and Goodwills to see many discarded cross stitched items like Christmas stocking, ornaments and framed pieces so even relatives and friends don't like to get them.
When I stitch for family, it's got to be something really special.

Cheryl in DC said...

Thanks, Dianne. I can see the point of cross stitching for charity if the person receiving the item has asked for it or otherwise indicated an interest.

I don't think that my family and friends keep my stitched items forever, and they shouldn't. I do tend only to stitch for those who I know will appreciate the stitched gift.

I think there's a difference between being a spokesperson for a charity and disclosing all of one's personal charitable giving.

Lee said...

Cheryl makes an excellent point. There is a big difference between posting a list of good causes to encourage participation, and posting a list of your own personal donations.

One is informational. The other seems self-promoting. I said seems. The person may not have that intention, but like it or not, that's how it seems.

Anna is free to decide to not answer the question and to state her reasons for not answering. It's her blog, after all. It's her opinion. I don't understand why we are taking this so personally and making such a big deal out of it. It's Anna's blog! And I hope she will keep speaking her mind.

Dianne said...

Yes indeed, Anna can say whatever she wants to its her blog. I don't know if she knew some of her faithful readers were really into charity stitching when she wrote her 'original' post?
I want to add and this is it, that doing the charity stitching actually turned my life around. It's all 'volunteer' and I not only do it for the kids, I do it for myself. That's all folks.