Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Do non-profits even notice nickel-and-dime donors?

Recently, one of our favorite non-profits sent us a request for a contribution, thanking us for having made a small donation in 2021.  I wrote back naming the total that we had given them in 2021, saying that it was downright insulting that the small donation that their e-mail had mentioned was the only donation for which they were thanking us.  The non-profit had the good grace to apologize for having mentioned only our most recent donation, noting that we'd been donors since 2011.  

I think we're having a similar problem with the local "Jewish community charity," UJA-Federation (formerly United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies).  Once upon a time, we used to make a half-decent-sized donation (low three-figures) once a year.  But now that we're both retired, we prefer to make small donations roughly once a month.   Here's the catch:  Given the number of requests for contributions that we get from UJA-Fed, I don't think they've even noticed that, over the course of a year, our small donations add up to almost the same amount that we used give in one annual donation.

How much does a person/entity have to donate to be seen?  And aren't non-profits missing out on an opportunity to bring in some much-needed funding by treating small donors as if we don't exist?

Friday, January 14, 2022

Invisible victims?

Some writing has been done about the plight of people who became new parents during the pandemic. Here's an example: https://www.theatlantic.com/.../isolation.../618244/
And here's some writing about the possible effects of the pandemic on children: https://www.directrelief.org/.../growing-up-in-the-midst.../
I'm particularly concerned about children who have no siblings. How are lone children supposed to have normal emotional and social development when they're cooped up in a house (or, worse yet, an apartment) all winter without so much as a playdate? How are they supposed to learn to share when opportunities to do so may be both limited and dangerous? And this question applies to all kids: What's going to happen to all of the kids who are too young to remember what "normal" used to look like?
How will the pandemic affect the way that educators, children's entertainers, camp staff, and others work with children?

Friday, January 07, 2022

I'm so sick of "slim"

If I see one more ad for women's pants that are "slimmer and more flattering" . . .

Why is so much of women's clothing "form-fitting" (formerly known as "skin-tight"), or close to it?  Is it against the law for us women to be comfortable in our own own clothes?

While we're on the subject, what's so great about four-inch heels?  Why do "western" standards of beauty call for torturing women with our own shoes?

Speaking of "western" standards, here's one for the gents:  Why do guys still wear ties?  What's so wonderful about half-strangling yourselves?

And just to be a non-conformist, I'm asking why so many boys are dressed in full suits at the age of six, if not younger?  I see no good reason for little boys to be dressed as adults, and I refused to go along--I wouldn't buy our son a suit until the year that he became a Bar Mitzvah.  And why are some girls now wearing heeled shoes in elementary school?  Why can't we just let kids be kids?

While we're on the subject of great expectations, a couple of my former blogger buddies were brave souls--they dressed their daughter in shorts and sleeveless tops until she entered first grade (at about age 6) in the local yeshiva, and only then did they begin dressing her in skirts and sleeved tops, which is the local clothing standard ("levush") for females in their Orthodox community.  They must have had nerves of steel to put up with the flack that they probably got.

Why are clothing styles and/or standards such a big deal?

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

COVID confusion

I was just disappointed that we couldn't attend a Jewish singer/songwriter's Friday night service because there was no online option, but my husband saw the big picture--the announcement mentioned a cocktail hour followed by a dinner followed by a musical service followed by an Oneg, and that made my husband wonder whether the people of that congregation understood that we're in the middle of a COVID surge.

By contrast, one Manhattan congregation that normally seats over 1,000 limited its in-person attendance to 12 people, including clergy, last Shabbat (Sabbath) morning.

New Yorkers are as conflicted as everyone else, though--I'm having trouble getting physical therapy appointments because our local PT practice fired three PTs for refusing to get vaccinated.

Whatever else the COVID-19 pandemic has done, it's made me wonder whether everyone in my country is living on the same planet.

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