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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Calendars, I get Calendars

Uploaded: Sep 27, 2014

It's calendar season again. Does anyone remember the Andy Williams show when he would introduce the request section with a little ditty, "Letters, I get letters, lots and lots of letters," and they all have a request for him to sing a favorite song?

Well I get Calendars, lots and lots of calendars, and they all have a request to send money. I get notebooks and notepads and greeting cards, and sob stories, all asking for money. I wish I had as much money as these organizations think I have.

I'll admit I am a sucker for two things -- stock market newsletters with the latest hot tip to make me a millionaire, and sob stories about children or animals starving, going blind, needing homes, being abused, or whatever. I have calendars with horses, dogs, cats, and more cats. I'm sure many of these sad stories are true, but I can't save them all.

I shouldn't be so cynical, but pile after pile of these things coming in the mail must be giving my postman a backache. The senders keep coming up with new ways to squeeze money out of me.

One calendar came with a form to confirm receipt of the calendar, and of course to solicit a contribution for $25 or more. I thought that one was pretty sneaky, but they all try to tug at the heartstrings to loosen the purse strings.

My mother, who is always careful where she sends her money, checks the reliability of charities on Charity Navigator. I also use the Better Business Bureau to search for approved charities. I try to send money only to charities with favorable reviews, but I keep all of the calendars.

I'm not quite a hoarder. I've cleaned out my house twice in the last ten years and filled up half a truck load to be hauled away. I still have much more to get rid of, but I am whittling it down each month.

Friday was "Big Trash Day," which is one of two days in the year when Waste Management picks up extra boxes of trash. I put out one box of excess paper and catalogs to be taken away, but I still need to go through all the rest of the stuff in my house and get rid of a lot more. I hope to have it all ready to go by the next Big Trash Day in 2015.

When I moved from Morro Bay to here I left a lot of stuff behind, including seven or eight boxes of vinyl record albums that I just didn't have room for. I don't know what happened to them. They are gone and pretty much forgotten.

Sometimes I just have to cut the cord and leave whatever my past was behind me and move on to whatever my new future is. That's what calendars are good for, planning what to do next in my life. If I really move to Maine in a few years, I will probably leave most of my California self behind, and I probably won't miss it at all. Well, maybe the weather.
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Sep 27, 2014 at 8:28 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Last December I wrote checks to several charities that I had never previously donated to. I needed tax write off and went out of normal routine to get the write off.

All year long my mail box has been flooded with requests for money. Some of the requests are very expensive four page multi color brochures.

When I realize the expense the charities are creating with my donation discourages me. I definitely will not be donating to those money wasting charities this year. the simple one page black and white request will get my attention.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Sep 27, 2014 at 11:44 am

I give to Animal Shelters and the J.

I also work as a volunteer walk/play with energetic puppies and BishopAccountability. Puppies have no mercy!

thank you very much...MAN'S BEST FRIEND? DDOOGGSS! HOORAY!

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 27, 2014 at 1:51 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


As you probably know many of these charities sell their lists. So they make some money by selling yours and my names to other similar charities.

Charity Navigator breaks down the score by how the money is used. Many of these charities spend half their money on fundraising. That seems like a big waste to me. Even if they are using 1/4 or 1/3 to do the actual rescue work they claim, they would be able to do more with less if they weren't spending half of it on fundraising.

I plan to write an upcoming blog on donating to small, local non-profits, like Safe-Cat which is a cat rescue group in San Ramon. Someone sent me an article she wrote on how to leave a bequest to small charities in your Will. I will probably quote from that in an upcoming blog.


One of the best animal rescue groups here is Muttville in San Francisco Web Link They hold a big fundraising auction every year. By coincidence it is tonight, but sold out Web Link

Muttville built a new shelter at 255 Alabama Street in San Francisco, near the SF SPCA, SF Animal Control, and Northern California Family Dog Rescue. The SF Supervisors named the area "Rescue Row." Web Link It's one-stop-shopping for rescued pet!


Posted by What about Lulu?, a resident of Beratlis Place,
on Sep 28, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Really Roz?? Why do you keep deleting my comments!!???

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 28, 2014 at 2:30 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

I do not usually censor comments. I believe in open dialog on issues, but your comments are non-issues. They are at best annoying and at worst scare tactics about a very serious epidemic that is killing thousands of people in Africa.

Lulu is healthy and not a disease carrier and trying to scare people for whatever your juvenile reasons isn't appropriate in this blog or any other on this website.


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