Virtual Charity

Make A WishYou’d think it would be easier to give money away

For several years now I have been donating money to charities in lieu of gifts to my siblings. We all have enough necklaces and scarves, so this is the best way to show I care and do some good. However, it isn’t always easy.

I live in Canada and my siblings live in the UK and USA, so I have to have my ducks in a row before December 7, which is the last date to mail cards to the UK and have them arrive by Christmas. In the past I have not always managed to do that so I have tried to arrange for these gifts online. But, it’s more difficult than you might think.

If I want to donate my money to a Canadian charity, they won’t mail cards to the UK. They will, however, send an ecard.  I tried that one year but not everyone in my family got the email. It probably ended up in their spam file. So that was a dud. Also, my siblings like to get an actual card in the mail that can be displayed somewhere in their homes, so an ecard is just “meh” to them.

One year I tried to arrange for a charity in the UK and one in the US to send out cards, but they sent them to me in Canada instead. So then I had to mail them out from here, which was not what I had in mind. And, of course, they ended up arriving late.

This year, I was ahead of the game and went online three weeks ago to arrange for cards to be sent to me so that I could mail them out this week, and it has been successful—up to a point.  I was surprised to find that my charity of choice no longer mails out actual paper cards but only sends ecards. That caused me to hunt around for an appropriate charity that would send me cards that I could then resend. Surprisingly, I found only one.

Since then I have found a few other charities that do this, but they got their websites up and running only after the US Thanksgiving and Black Friday events, which meant they were too late for my purposes.

The cards I received from the charity are not very attractive, but they’ll do. I thought about putting them inside nicer cards, but that seemed to be a bit redundant. It would also have made my cards weigh more and cost more to mail, so I abandoned that idea.

I know it’s easier to send an ecard, and I know ecards can be quite delightful, but if not everyone reads them then the system isn’t working as well as it could.  I think what I need is a light insert from the charity that I can put inside my own card.

Maybe I’ll suggest that to them…in an email. They won’t be able to put it on the mantelpiece, but it’s the thought that counts.


Image source: Canadian Living


  1. Gave up sendong cards a while back. And my folks in the UK have decided similar. our postal service here is so often third world guessing when snail mail arrives is half the fun!

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