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  • We are once again being “asked“ to give to the United Way at my work.
    I have nothing against the United Way, but don’t feel the urge to join in this endeavor.
    Every year they have an intense campaign to achieve 100% participation.
    You can see where this is going, right?
    The pressure from my boss and her boss is palpable.
    There is a sales pitch on line given by the CEO that is mandatory to watch before you can “opt out”.
    There is a “second chance for those who don’t wish to contribute at this time”.
    There are even those who have volunteered to give a buck in my name just to reach the shop goal of 100% participation.
    One year they mistakenly sent a memo naming the few that didn’t participate so everyone knows I’m the biggest thorn.

    Sorry, but giving aid is a very personal thing for me.

    For 5 years I had supplemented my mother-in-laws meager income with $100 a payday (every 2 weeks). Because of that we had to put off purchasing our home.

    I have my youngest son’s family living next door in our duplex at a greatly reduced rent on a pay when you can basis.

    This month we gave food and home furnishings to a family that was just able to move out of a homeless shelter with 3 kids. She called again last night seeking a ride to the food pantry – they have no transportation other than a bicycle I gave to her husband so he could get to work.

    I have never told anyone these things before.

    I would much rather be thought of as a cranky old penny pinching bastard.
    But every now and then I would like to grab a couple of these smug know-it-all’s by the scruff of their necks and show them that the United Way doesn’t corner the market on helping people who are suffering or have needs.

    Some of us just do it alone. It’s the way we were raised. My family has never turned anyone away who had a need.
    From my Grandma and Grandpa who always took in strangers at dinnertime and sometimes overnight during the depression;
    to my Mother and Father who ,as I have already written had an open door policy(Mom use to quote Thurber “just don’t use your chloroform!”);
    down to my brother, sister and myself.

    My door has always been unlocked and welcoming of anyone at anytime of the day or night. I have a sign outside that says, “Welcome to Grandma and Grandpa’s – Open 24 hrs”. No one who has been inside our home knocks when they return.

    So I will endure the pressure from everyone and smile/grimmace.

    I’m just not a joiner. And being from Missouri, I’m stubborn as a mule.

    I guess I just needed to get that off my chest.

    Photo is of my Grandpa and Grandma, Mom and Dad, Aunt Nina and Uncle Matt, my sister, brother and cousins and me at a family gathering (looking cool smoking candy cigarettes)
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