Coffee Break [28/11/22]

Your mid morning pick me up

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. You can find local activities and events in your area on the official website. There’s a wide range of ways to participate, from random acts of kindness to fundraising and hands-on involvement. I’ve written the checks for my year-end donations to local charities and shopped for my Toys For Tots gifts. I will also be supporting trans youth through the TransSanta program that I discovered last year.

I know Deadsplinters are a big-hearted bunch. Here is your opportunity to plug a favorite charity, or inspire us with your acts of generosity. And they need not be financial. You can often make a difference in another person’s life without spending a penny.



  1. …I fear it’s sort of the opposite of charitable giving…but after just recently doing a sort of post-mortem/reconstruction of financial stuff for an elderly lady who is basically plagued by scammers because she fell victim to one at some point & is now clearly on some premium easy-target list passed around by a bunch of bottom-feeding scumbags

    …I’d like to string some of those assholes up…upside down…& see about giving the proceeds of anything that you could shake out of their pockets go to the needy…many of whom are even more so because of these low-lifes

    …they’re like the anti-robin-hood…steal from the elderly & infirm…& then just keep their shit for yourself…there may be lower forms of life…but they are way, way down there…& with fraud being the cause of the majority of money lost to crime these days it is increasingly hard for me to understand why it isn’t being made harder for them…instead of forcing people ill at ease with technology to perform all kinds of financial actions via connected devices & not by talking to a real person they know is employed by their bank on account of how they gave them a desk in the building

    …apologies for venting…but…it’s infuriating…& people like the lady I’m thinking of wind up feeling like they’re the problem every time they get done over…despite the fact that most people would have fallen foul of at least one of these scams if they had to field a mere fraction of the number of attempts she has…& there’s seemingly nothing you can do to staunch that flow…well…nothing beyond the things we’ve tried…which at this point include changing banks & contact details…even if she could afford it the idea she should be driven from a home she’s lived in for decades on the off chance that breaks the cycle seems wrong on too many levels to feel like a valid option…but I hate that it wasn’t the first time & almost certainly won’t be the last?

    • I had the same problem with my mother. We took over her finances. My wife had the same problem with her father. He died and she took over his finances. We don’t have the problem with my mother-in-law because my wife already has everything in hand.

      And those are the lucky ones, with conscientious family. There are thousands of horror stories here in Florida about old people with no family who are victimized.

      • There’s a podcast called Vigilante Scam Busters. I haven’t listened to it yet but apparently there are hackers who have organized to turn the tables on scammers. I’m not suggesting anyone here has the time or skills to get involved but you never know.

    • I know where you’re coming from. I have an older relative by marriage who is a soft touch for scammy charities, although not such big donations as to be a real problem.

      The one that bugs me the most is a Catholic American Indian “boarding school” which has a long rotten history of breaking up families, abusing kids, cultural erasure, and just bad education and living conditions.

      They do the usual scam too of spending almost all their money on more fundraising and salaries.

      And when I explain this, it never outweighs the guilt for getting crappy thank you “gifts” of fake American Indian junk made in sweatshops overseas.

      I’ve even suggested as an alternative giving to our local public school support organizations, since our kids — her own relatives — have known plenty of classmates who were in dire need who would benefitted with vastly less overhead. But no, the Catholic boarding school sends those necklaces every year with the cheap plastic beads.

      • …yeah…those people could also take a long walk off a short cliff & I’d merrily wave them on their way…but they don’t try to assume direct control of her banking & clean out her life savings in one fell swoop before moving to the next number on their call sheet…or pose as a genuine friend whose email account they’ve hijacked in order to spin a tale of how they need a favor in order not to disappoint a terminal ill family member on their birthday so they can persuade someone literally out of the goodness of their heart to go buy a bunch of expensive gift vouchers & hand them over…or…you know what…this list could go way longer than anyone’s got time for…where the lady I’m talking about is concerned if she was just getting talked into setting up donations that could be cancelled honestly it would be a vast improvement…as insane as that undoubtedly sounds…on account of how it absolutely is fucking crazy that something like that could be (& indeed is) true?

      • I bought a perpetual mass for my uncle when he passed ,a scam itself but it’s what one does in our family, and I made it onto a Catholic charity list. And I get crap dream catchers and other schlocky native stuff all the damn time. 🤬

      • Oh my grandma fell for that charity too for fucking years. I think for her in large part it was that the whole family was catholic and when her mom died and her dad decided being an alcoholic was better than taking care of a 6 yr old, my grandma went to a catholic orphanage here and they took care of her and helped the girls get job placement after they turned 18. So in her case, she had memories of seeing a catholic orphanage genuinely trying to help children.

  2. Russia wants to break Ukraine with the cold and dark. It hasn’t succeeded – so far

    Civilians need blankets, boilers, ovens, heaters and generators – or, where there is a functioning market, just money they can spend on what they need most, such as expensive fuel. Those worst-hit need roofing and glazing, or at the very least plastic sheeting, to survive in damaged homes. These relatively simple and uncontroversial kinds of aid can make the difference between staying or leaving.

    Ukraine is in for an awful winter. Putin’s forces absolutely are waging war against civilians.

    UN Crisis Relief

    International Red Cross


  3. Last month Pablo Eisenberg died. He was a fierce advocate for reform of philanthropies, and an impressive character.

    He was named after his godfather, Pau (Pablo) Casals, and his family fled Europe in 1939. He made the doubles quarterfinals at Wimbledon too.

    But he was best known for pushing hard for changes to major foundations and charities to focus on recipients rather than donors, and wasn’t afraid to go after even people like Bill Gates.

    I heard him speak once and he hit on the need for donors to back longterm ongoing support instead of just flashy onetime gifts for buildings, and much of his career was focused on structural issues like tax law and challenging the PR industry that has developed to fluff up donors at expense of the needy.

  4. Just realized I never responded to the actual post, but my favorite Christmas charity is local. It’s called Baby DJ, and it’s run by one of the local FM stations. You basically donate toys (or money but I do toys) and they find needy families and set up a Christmas store. The families can go through and select Christmas items for their kids. So 100% of the donations end up with kids on Christmas morning, and I approve of that.

    But it’s very local, specifically Central Florida. I’ve met all the on-air personalities associated with it and it seems like a solid, well-run program.

    • …I’m familiar with a similar-sounding thing someone I know does through their work…except for that one they basically pick a selection of what are essentially requests for things people either can’t afford…or need but if someone else buys would let them spend the money on a gift instead…so all the gifts likewise end up with a kid on christmas morning

      …from what I can tell it seems to be a pretty good system

  5. If you are looking for a way to help, I also recommend checking with a local assisted living places and seeing if there are any folks without family or resources to get them something that the need.

    Like there’s a local dialysis center that does a food drive for specific items recommended by their dieticians to help low income folks but not fuck over their kidneys. That sort of thing is hyperlocal and isn’t a situation of throwing money at a national charity that might not do shit with it.

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