What to do With all the Nickels?

If you make a donation to a charity, and this charity knows your address, they will sell your address to every other charity in America. Soon your mail box will have no room for the birds to build a nest because it is filled with appeals from all the rest.

Furthermore, I have noticed that a charitable fund-raising practice is presently on the rise. It is not new, but it is certainly more frequent than in recent years. And this is charities sending me a nickel. You can see these nickels without even opening up the envelopes. They’re taped to card stock inside and appear in the clear plastic window of the envelope.

But what do you do with such a nickel? It’s a dilemma. I didn’t ask for it, but I’m not going to stick it in another envelope and send it back. That would cost me a stamp. I’m also not going to throw a nickel in the trash. When I grew up, you could buy a coke or an ice cream cone for nickel. I wasn’t raised to be the sort of person who goes around squandering five-cent pieces. Nickels are to be squeezed until the buffalo hollers. Anonymous said, “If I had a nose full of nickels, I’d be a rich man.” He could have also saved them in his piggy bank and breathed a lot easier.

Not knowing what to do with all the nickels flowing in, I decided to consult the instructions that come in the envelope with them. One said, “If you will give just one nickel every hour of every day, together we can stamp out quicksand on our nation’s playgrounds.” Hmm. Why didn’t they just ask for $36/month? Giving a nickel every hour of every day is exhausting. When would you sleep? Also, it seems to me that if one attempted to stamp out quicksand, one would sink.

Another of the nickel instructions said, “Add this to your donation and enable us help many more people this year than in the past.” Since I’m not the only one receiving a nickel in the mail – there must be thousands and thousands of people opening this charity’s envelopes – maybe they could have already helped more people by not giving such a chunk of their prior donations away.


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