Immortality is indeed possible

My mother passed away almost three years ago. Yet, she lives on. Not just in our memories, but in the donor rolls of way too many charities. Even though she never lived in my sister’s new residence, her address has been updated after my sister moved away from our mother’s home.

So, each week, my mother gets mail from three to five charities. My sister tried stopping a few, but they did not heed her request or changed the name to hers. There must be a quantity requirement for the lists. So, more trees suffer to send out something that will find the trash.

When my mother passed away, I went through her stuff and found about 5,000 pieces of mail requesting money. Often, I found twenty to thirty from the same entity, where my mother wrote “Consider later.” As my mother’s memory faded, this was her coping mechanism. Since some charities send pennies, nickels and dimes in the request, I think we accumulated about $2.50 in change from the stash.

I know charities need money, but is this the best path forward? There are many fine charities out there with good causes, but there are some that are not well run or whose cause is a band-aid not effectuating change. Plus, those that use professional fund raisers, ask them how much goes to the charity and how much goes to them. So, we should all check the charities out.

It is also interesting that my father who passed away thirteen years ago will get an occasional piece of mail requesting money. One surprise was my brother got one and he never lived in the house that my mother and father bought after the kids were raised.

Immortality is indeed possible. At least the nice part is the letter makes us think of mom.


16 thoughts on “Immortality is indeed possible

  1. Sounds eerily familiar, as my mother also was bombarded with these requests. And in her final years she certainly didn’t have the financial stability to be sending these charities money. But, she did regardless. It always seemed so unseemly to me.

  2. There is definitely a limit line which must not be overstepped. It is respectless and thoughtless. Lately, my mom received a letter addressed to my father which said he took part in a competition and won a seat for a promotional trip. The only problem is that my father passed away seven years ago.

  3. I took care of my father’s mail as his health declined and I was shocked at all the solicitations he received. The worst in his case were all the magazine subscription notices that made it appear that money was “owed” or that a subscription was ending. Scammers, liars, and cheats are terrible anytime, but when they target older people, they are evil.

    • Agreed. Now, the phone scams are scarier with the Social Security, Medicare, IRS, Grandparent and Microsoft scams. M y mother was lured into one by an eInsurance marketer (the one on TV) saying a policy she did not own was going to expire, as well as the Grandparent scam, which is to say your grandson was injured and listen for the names the Grandparent offers.

  4. Gaaaa! In my letter carrier days I delivered tons of these types of offers to little old folks who fell hard for the pleas for starving children and abused puppies. It broke my heart to see these folks being duped into spending their money on questionable charities while failing to purchase nutritious food and vital medications for themselves. The mail (even junk) was their connection with the world.

    I only give to local charities, whose work I can follow. Or, I use Charity Navigator to get the low down on the national/international charities, some of which I have contributed to in honor of a relative in lieu of a gift.

    I receive very few pleas for money. When I do, I often open the envelope, fish out the postage paid return envelope, stuff everything inside that envelope with a nastygram to the sender. That way, they end up paying for their own junk!

    But, if seeing your mom’s name in your mailbox brings you a smile, maybe it’s best to just enjoy them and pass them on to the recycle bin.

      • I would guess that the amount of bulk business mail (BBM – the official postal moniker) is higher. When I 10 years ago, BBM and parcel service carried 1st class mail, which hasn’t come close to paying for itself in decades. It’s a serious conundrum. I feel somewhat guilty, as I pay nearly all my bills online. I do, however, try to maintain paper billing, just to help keep the service afloat. So, sacrifice a tree to subsidize USPS? I dunno. These are difficult choices to balance out.

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