Archive for the 'Philanthropy' Category

A Bad Thing

Sunday, May 7th, 2006
Paul clearing gutters - front of house      Paul clearing gutters - front of house      Paul clearing gutters - side of house

Paul borrowed the neighbor-lady’s ladder and cleared out some gutters this weekend.

I was inside when Paul came in to report, anxiously and glumly, that he had done “a bad thing.”

At the direction of the neighbor, who advised that such things can cause water to leak behind the siding, Paul removed a birds’ nest located between the roof and the siding.¬†

Paul had assumed that it was too early in the year for the nest to be in use.  But after he removed it, he saw that it contained two eggs.

Inside the house, he reported that he felt bad, and would make a donation to the Humane Society.

Outside again, later, the neighbor told Paul that the nest belonged to “blackbirds – the kind that eat other birds’ eggs.”¬† So she told Paul that he shouldn’t feel too bad.

I asked Paul if he would still be making a donation to the Humane Society.

“Yes,” he said.¬† “Just less.”



Penance Interrupted

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

OK, I’ve been feeling like a Schlub. I think I took a minor Karma hit for posting my little poll, below. According to a definition available online, “political incorrectness” means:

the use of expressions or actions that can be perceived to exclude or marginalize or insult groups who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against

And if my poll was perceived (because anyone who knows me knows I wouldn’t mean it in this way) to insult socially disadvantaged groups, then, mea culpa. I apologize.

In order to restore my social-ethical standing in the community, I thought about what I could do to redeem myself for my possibly insensitive post.

I decided that it would be a nice gesture to make a small donation to an Ice Skating organization, so that young people of any persuasion can get support in pursuing their love of that unique form of art – the ice dance.

And so I started my search for a proper recipient of my charitable intention. I didn’t find many organizations that accepted donations. Several of the sites seemed to be linked to skating trade organizations or skating apparel sales companies.

I finally ended up at that U.S. Figure Skating website. And – Perfect! They not only accept donations, but also provide an online link permitting donations to the “Memorial Fund” intended to

provide qualified U.S. Figure Skating skaters in need of financial aid with monetary assistance to pursue their goals both inside and outside the competitive arena. The fund is committed to awarding skating and academic scholarships to those athletes who have demonstrated excellent competitive results and/or academic achievements and who have future potential in national and international competitions. . . . [and to] help fulfill the dreams of young figure skaters across the country.

Just what I had in mind to support! And just the perfect way to assuage any half-hearted and/or repressed guilt I may have had about possibly disparaging any particular former, current, or future Olympic skaters. So I filled out the donation form. I even entered my credit card information. And, feeling proud of myself, I clicked the submit button.

And for my efforts, I received the following message, in red text:

The minimum donation amount is $50!

Hmmm. . .

Well, I’m not that worried about my Karma. . .

So, uh, I’ll just get back to my regularly scheduled activities, then. Okey dokey.


I mean, I could have pursued the idea of the penance thing by sighing up for a $25 membership to the International Gay Figure Skating Union , but I have baby doctor bills to pay, yo! And what good would my little $25 do there, anyway. Sir Elton John is already supporting many of the athletes likely to participate in this group. And I understand that gentleman to be a generous spender. (A 1999 report cited his average $400,000 per month credit card bill).

So instead, I’ll keep my little money, and just enjoy this free (and fabulous) poster for the “Fabulous Cup 2005,” and hopefully, we can all leave it at that.