The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Gimme Gimme

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 4:55 pm on Saturday, October 25, 2008

Time to hop onto my soapbox.

Pharmacy Chick was grocery shopping the other day, a chore she HATES to do.  In fact, I think for somebody whose drugstore is in the same parking lot as a grocery she has a pathetic amount of food in her house.  I am one of those buy-tonight’s-dinner-this-afternoon kind of person.  Therefore I am in and out of the store on quickie shops…which means I am in the checkstand more often than the once a week or once a month shopper.  ANYWAY,

As I was checking out, the clerk asked me if I would “donate $1, 3 or 5 for our annual food drive?”  How about $0 I am thinking… But being the nice person that I am, I donated a dollar.  As I was walking out to my car, I started to linger on this interaction not because I was now out of a dollar, but because of the commonality of this event.  EVERY time I grocery shop, they ask me for money. Each month its for something different.  Its the malady of the month, or Jerry’s Kids, Katrina Victims, Diabetes, Heart disease, Food Bank,  Easter Seals, you name it.

I have my own charities. I am not a tightwad. I send significant amounts of money to the non-profits and church of MY choosing. Personally, my heart breaks for unwanted or abused animals and pets and my checkbook donations reflect that.

By the sheer number of national fundraising events, prostate and breast cancer research has to be flush with cash compared to “less popular” disease states. Don’t get me wrong, none of these things are bad.  I am sure every charity needs the money, but its the UNENDING requests that are getting to me.  A jar on the counter? fine, I may drop some change in it. But I am getting tired of being asked ” would you like to….give give give?” 

I’d like to offer some suggestions to these fundraising stores:

1. Know who gave.  I’d love it for once if we got some “I gave” pin so somebody might know to quit asking. It gets old to be asked every time I shop.  I am not a scrooge. But I dont think customers should feel they have to donate to a charity everytime they buy food.

2. Give us shoppers a break:  Must you have a charity drive EVERY month of EVERY year? 

3. I’d prefer the tax break thanks:  If you imagine hard enough you can see that every store probably has a big cardboard check that 4-5 people get to stand behind when they hand over the cash to the charity.  Snap Snap goes the cameras and look at us! WE gave all this money!….but in reality, they didn’t really give anything, thousands of anonymous shoppers did.  If anybody knows how this works, please share, I’d really like to know who gets the tax breaks on all these $1 and $5 donations collected over the year by major retailers.

Anybody else like to sound off on this subject?  Am I wrong? Does anybody else get tired of this?  Any better ideas?

Happy Halloween by the way!  Watch out for those kiddies–so every trick or treater gets home safely.



Comment by empress bee (of the high sea)

October 25, 2008 @ 5:38 pm

i have gotten VERY good at smiling sweetly and saying “no thank you, not this time.” and meaning it!

try it, it is very liberating. like you, we give plenty, but we can’t deduct these checkout donations or street corner jars. i never give to them. am i selfish? no. i am choosy…

smiles, bee


Comment by The Ole' Apothecary

October 25, 2008 @ 7:38 pm

PC, use Nancy Reagan’s brilliant method: just say no. I do, all the time. I think it’s evil for these people to position me where I’ve got money in my hand and am ready to part with it for something I need, and they want to tear-jerk me into giving up more. I do not even trust where the money is going. I think the bastards are stealing it. If any of your charities don’t like what I’m saying, start including your dossier at the register to attempt to prove me wrong.

PC, have a look at This is an online grocery ordering and delivery service. I wish I had it in my area, in which case I would never have to play shopping cart dodge ’ems with ladies and their children ever again. You order your groceries online, and they deliver them for ten bucks! You can only get this in Boston, Seattle, and Dallas. I do not understand why all the other lemmings “like” to go food shopping. I compare food shopping with a colonoscopy. I’d druther not.


Comment by Pharmacy Psychic

October 25, 2008 @ 9:05 pm

I used to work at a store where we had to ask everyone if they wanted to donate to the charity drives (they did two a year for a month each). I can guarantee you that the cashier doesn’t care if you say “No thank you.” They are required to ask, but as long as you don’t start trying to justify the choice, “no thank you” is fine.

Diabetes, cancer, and heart disease are all worthy causes that affect a lot of people, but as someone who has a rare disorder, it is frustrating to think that very few resources will ever be dedicated to curing my condition. I’m tempted to go look up a bunch of rare disease organizations and donate money to them.


Comment by Carol

October 26, 2008 @ 8:32 am

I never donate to these things. I donate in large chunks to the charities of MY choice (which are never the same as those that fundraise at cash registers, food for thought?) and get my tax deduction thereof too. I don’t even put pennies in those boxes for charities. The constant stream of gimme is irritating. Then there are the people who bring their kids latest school fundraiser crap to work and giv eyou puppy dog eyes. I have no children. I can’t do it back to them. (that, btw, is the logic they give me, “but I’ll buy your crap for y0our kid”)


Comment by pharmLand

October 26, 2008 @ 10:14 am

I was getting ready to watch a movie in a theater with my wife and before the show started a lady came to the front of the theater and made a pitch for some charity. They then proceeded to show a short film about the charity on the screen. After the clip they passed collection plates around the audience. This wasted almost a half an hour and the movie started late. Talk about an ambush! I couldn’t go anywhere or get away from it. They took total control over the captive audience they had. Needless to say, I did not donate one cent to their organization.


Comment by sickofstupidpeople

October 26, 2008 @ 10:55 am

The only non-receipt-giving charity I donate to is Salvation Army. You know, the bell ringers with the red buckets at the holidays? Then, I clean the change out of the bottom of my purse. They don’t ask for money – they just smile, ring their bells, and wish you happy holidays. I like it that way.


Comment by PharmacyJim

October 26, 2008 @ 2:36 pm

Chick, my company has one a year, and it’s going on now for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I must say people have been very generous, and we have the little “tennis shoes” taped all around the Pharmacy. However, I can assure you, we will not be upset if someone says no…it has happened several times already. We also are sensitive to the fact that since this event goes on for 3 weeks, we try not to double and triple dip with customers. My crew’s whole focus is on the kids that will be helped. But, as I say, no is a perfectly acceptable answer.


Comment by Ryan Frank

October 27, 2008 @ 8:58 am

As for the tax breaks – you used to be able to take all your small cash donations (assuming you itemize… which I figure is likely) but in recent years they’ve gotten a lot stricter on what you can claim there (if you ever got audited they might expect receipts – which is basically impossible for people who either give at the store or at a church in small numbers frequently)


Comment by alan

October 27, 2008 @ 1:40 pm

There’s leakage everywhere, in every facet of the most prestigious charities in the world. I sniffed this b.s. out a long time ago. If kids come door-door representing the American _____ society…guess what?…don’t assume for a second they aren’t skimming. People were using 9-11 to scam people–what makes you think they’d stop at disease? It’s no secret Americans hide behind children, the bible, and the flag, yet the cold hard truth is that diseases are just as exploitable and exploited.

Government-sponsored donations are amongst the leakiest. Case in point – Bush gives billions to Africa to fight AIDS. Next thing you know. 95% of the money has been stolen by African warlords/Islamists.

I was panhandled out of 3$ total in Baltimore by a man claiming to be HIV-positive (wouldn’t put it past him but didn’t believe the pitch) and a man pretending to be deaf. I decided after that day I was done. I usually will give an impoverished minority a small amount of money to decrease the odds of my getting jumped subsequently.

Type “panhandler” into the search function on and watch people who aren’t even homeless rake it in off your hard-earned money.

I’ve got debts to pay off.


Comment by Scargosun

October 27, 2008 @ 1:51 pm

I do it once and then tell them I already did. BTW I HATE those kids who stand in the middle of the FREAKING road and walk around cars holding a can or pail for you to toss money into when you are trapped at a red light. I will NEVER, EVER, EVER, no matter what the cause, donate to them. It is not only dangerous to them and to motorists but so similar to panhandling that I am sure it has been outlawed in some states.


Comment by Phat

October 28, 2008 @ 6:27 pm

The Salvation Army is about all I’ll do without doing a bit of research at first. I have given to benefit dinners for patients at our store, but otherwise I thoroughly check a charity before I donate to it. I’ve seen too many scams out there and I really don’t want to have my money go to buy someone’s Porsche. The only national charity I give to is the Victory Junction Gang, and thats fine by me.


Comment by Mickey Blue Eyes

November 10, 2008 @ 11:59 am

Join me on a tangential journey, won’t you?

“By the sheer number of national fundraising events, prostate and breast cancer research has to be flush with cash compared to “less popular” disease states”

Um, IMHO, I’d say that AIDS and breast cancer research are the “flush with cash” causes. Everybody has a red ribbon and a pink ribbon. Red ribbon themed and pink ribbon themed fundraising products are everywhere you look.

But prostate cancer research cause is kept under wraps, as it were. Nobody is wearing brown ribbons — or whatever the cause’s color is. There are no brown ribbon themed fundraising products.
True. I think Blue is their token color, based on all the materials they send out.

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