Here we go again. Maybe it is the tax season that makes it seem as though I’m preoccupied with money. But in my case, it is also about the VOM Rotary fundraising season, which I wrote about in the last issue of the Oakmont News (ON). Keep in mind that all articles , etc., for the ON have to be submitted two weeks before the issue gets to you. Two weeks is a long time for me to keep track of anything. Every so often, I will be talking to someone who says: Hey John; I really liked your article in the last issue. I am immediately confused and reply: Thanks, what did it say? Now that response is not intended to sound like a pop quiz to test them and see if they really read it, the purpose is to find out just what article appeared. In an age where a microwave oven isn’t fast enough, it is weird to do something which has a two-week delay (although it looks like the current USPS is using that model). As it turns out, my friend Bill Wrightson was talking about the Rotary article in the ‘newest’ issue concerning our effort to raise funds through outreach instead of our annual Crab Feed event. Being the stellar humanoid he is, he wanted to know who to make the donation check out to (VOM Rotary Foundation). I was blown away and was gratified as much by his generosity as I was by the realization that more than one of you are reading this. Bill explained that he really respected the work that we do as a club and we are just the kind of charitable organization he feels warrants his support. I felt compelled to justify his faith by mentioning that my bible for deciding where to donate money is Charity Navigator (C.N.). It is the best way to determine where your money will be maximized. There are so many seemingly worthy causes but…. You might remember the scandal at Wounded Warriors, where it was finally revealed that they spent a fortune on those TV spots that were actually paid for. And worse, the CEO was making $500,000 a year and another $1.5 million went to pay the organizations top 6 executives. I don’t give a dime to anyone, without checking them out on C.N.
This goes for someone holding a sign in front of a Safeway. In fact, it goes for Safeway too. When you check out and they want to know if you’ll kick in another few bucks for Breast Cancer, I want to make sure it’s a responsible and legitimate charity and not ‘Bob’s Breast Cancer Sympathizers’. I don’t assume anyone asking for money is credible and neither should you. P.S. No government agency threatens to arrest you unless you send them gift cards. But Rotary has a 4 star (highest) rating with C.N. and we are all volunteer (no salaries). So keep us in mind when you are feeling altruistic. You can make checks out to VOM Rotary Foundation and mail or drop them off in care of: Karen Sites at McBride Realty. Look us up at www.charitynavigator.org