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Charity Gimme Pigs

I used to be close to a girl named Emily. She had a habit of being both rude and entitled. For example, she asked to come over to my mother’s house (I was home for the summer from university) to talk to me. I said she can come over and assumed that she would call me when she got to my mother’s, or ring the door bell. You know, like a normal person. Emily decided she felt “comfortable” enough with a house that she had only been in once before and walked right in without ringing the doorbell.

After a while, we drifted apart. I started school again and was fairly busy with that. However, we were still “friends” on Facebook, so I saw her posts in my newsfeed. Not too long ago, I noticed she joined Habitat for Humanity: Global Village. As bad as it was, I got a slight chuckle thinking of someone so selfish trying to do something selfless. I felt guilty at my initial judgment. I soon learned that perhaps I was right about her after all.

About a day later, she announces that she was accepted on a trip to Fiji. That’s fine. Her life, she can go wherever she wants. Another day passes before she begins to talk about people donating to her trip. Not only does she intend to go to Fiji, but Vietnam, India, and Kenya as well.  She is “too poor” to pay for these trips herself, so she expects her friends to do it. Her incentive is that it is a tax write off and we should all tell our friends, our parents, and our parent’s friends to help her go to Fiji! Curiosity got the best of me, so I looked at the itinerary for her trip. Out of the fourteen days she will be there, she will only be working from 9AM-4PM for a total of seven days. I am sorry, but that seems almost like a vacation with a mild amount of work.

Today is Friday and since Wednesday, she posted the link to her donation site six times. Perhaps I would be less peeved by the “gimmegimmegimme your money!!! (Please)” if she did not spent an outrageous amount of money. She already posted about getting a new tattoo and how she will be getting a new one in a month or two. I just feel it is so wrong to ask people for money.

While it was immature of me, I decided to donate $0.35. When I told her the website will not allow me to donate that, she got angry at my amount. Especially since she kept going on about how “every little bit counts.” Apparently, everyone she knows should at least donate $5 to her trip…even though the website has a minimum donation of $10. I am apparently selfish for not letting her have an entire week of free time in Fiji. I am a nursing student, my husband has served four years in the military, and I will enter the service as soon as I graduate, then volunteer to deploy. I also do volunteer work for veterans on my own dime. In the past, I used to pay for us to go out, I drove over 30 minutes each way to give her rides, and volunteered to help pay for her speeding ticket if she agreed to sign a contract on how much she will pay me back with each paycheck. (She declined since she “could not afford anything.”  Or so she said while she was drinking the $5 coffee I bought.) I hardly think I am the selfish one.   0821-10


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Yasuragi November 14, 2016, 5:47 am

    Hm, OP, you may not be the selfish one but baiting her into an argument and posting about what an awful person your “friend” is does not reflect well on you either.

    If you don’t like her then unfriend her. And that will be the end.

    • WifeyDear November 14, 2016, 9:07 am


    • Amanda H. November 14, 2016, 9:53 am

      Exactly. I understand if OP doesn’t like her much anymore, but why keep in contact with the drama by keeping her as a FB friend if they aren’t really friends anymore, and definitely why only try to donate $.35 and then tell “Friend” about it when the site wouldn’t let you donate said pittance. It’s like tipping a waitress $.02. It’s a tiny amount meant to make a point, not be an honest contribution. If $.35 is all OP had for donating and really feels the way she does about “Friend’s” humanitarian vacation, that small amount is much better donated in a place like the coin drop for children’s hospitals I’ve seen at many a store.

      • Michelle C Young November 15, 2016, 5:16 pm

        I love the coin-drop donation drives for worthy causes. No guilt. Not drama. If you can’t do a donation (or choose a different charity), they don’t bug you about it.

        They don’t send mailers to you every month, because you donated ONCE. I think that by now, my single donation has been spent completely, on mailers to me.

        There are plenty of worth causes, and I’m happy to donate to them. But the lower-key they are, the more likely I am to donate, and (in my mind), the less overhead there is and the more likely my pittance is to actually make a difference.

    • mark November 14, 2016, 12:14 pm

      Well said.

  • Lex November 14, 2016, 5:49 am

    I am curious as to a couple of points:

    a) Why $0.35?

    b) Why did you engage with her to TELL her about your (admittedly petty) donation? Was it for the gratification of the confrontation?

    c) If the organisation HfH is arranging the trip (as suggested by ‘she was accepted onto the trip’), then surely the itinerary is ALSO arranged by HfH? So the quantity of work is set by the organisation, not the participant? Are there international labour laws they have to work within to avoid possible sanctions or tax/cost implications? There are rules on how much ‘work’ you can do in a country if you enter under a vacation or visitor visa – perhaps there is too much red tape around applying for work visas for charity work and it’s based on %? So perhaps the trip is 2 weeks and the ‘work’ constitutes less than 40% of the time to accommodate visa laws or something? I don’t know. I ask these questions because you have made a judgement about this being a ‘pleasure jaunt’ as such, but haven’t delved into the terms and conditions of the trips themselves. I’m not defending ‘Emily’, I just think there is more to it than a simple case of selfishness.

    d) I have been treated like this by ‘friends’ over the years: These people are NOT your friends. They are users. If I were you I’d ‘ditch and delete’. Let the friendship die – stop chasing her. Stop enabling her. ‘Unfollow’ her on Facebook and let her get on with her life. By attempting to donate $0.35 you have engaged with her in a petty, passive-aggressive way. Did you do this because you enjoy the drama? Did you want to challenge her Gimme-pig attitude? I’m not sure what you were trying to achieve?

    • lakey November 14, 2016, 10:10 am

      I agree with you except for the $.35 thing. That just strikes me as passive aggressive. If you want to send her the message that you don’t think other people should “foot the bill” for her philanthropy, just tell her. If she doesn’t get people to give her the money, and she probably won’t, then she can help work on houses in her own community. My aunt and uncle used to do that. It costs you nothing but your time.

      • lakey November 14, 2016, 4:33 pm

        My comment was meant to be a response to OP. Sorry.

    • Kate November 15, 2016, 10:58 am

      Also, is 7 hour work day really considered just a vacation in USA? I have heard it is pretty mad about work-work-work there, but here 8 hours is the standard, so 7 hours is not so mild amount of work.

      • Calli Arcale November 15, 2016, 12:48 pm

        No, a 7 hour work day is not generally considered a vacation here in the US. In fact, according to the United State Internal Revenue Service, a job that averages 30 hours per week or more is considered full-time. So even if we deduct a half hour for lunch, bringing it down to 6.5 hours per day, that’s still legally considered full-time employment — not a vacation.

        And I don’t know what kind of work it would be, but if it’s anything related to Habitat for Humanity, it could be a lot of heavy manual labor. Hardly a “vacation”. I mean, there are certainly valid points to be made about the ethics of “voluntourism”, but OP isn’t arguing down those lines.

        • Michelle C Young November 15, 2016, 5:18 pm

          I think the “vacation” comment came from the fact that out of fourteen days there, only half of them would be spent working.

          Even if you take two two-day weekends, that still leaves three days off. In Fiji.

          • Willynilly November 16, 2016, 8:37 am

            If you check HfH website (which only takes seconds to do), it clearly outlines a full 14 day agenda for Fiji that only has one day “off”. Its true its not 13 days of hard labor, but its not several days off in Fiji.

            …and logic presumes even if it were several days off, it would be in remote, less than ideal locales of Fiji, hence the need for HfH to begin with.

  • Nenetl November 14, 2016, 6:45 am

    My understanding as to why OP donated the tiny amount to the fund was to be a wake up call for ‘Friend’. Something that might have had the chance to open her eyes as to how selfish she was and had been acting, that might have been glossed over and forgotten about with the trip to Fiji looming.

    ‘Hey, can you donate? Any little help and it’s for a good cause!’
    ‘Sure, here’s a few pennies for now, I don’t have much at all to spare, I’m sorry.’
    ‘Ack.. Oh, thanks, I uh.. Sorry about that.’

    Something like that. There’s so many different potential outcomes that maybe something akin to this was what OP was hoping for. After all, it may seem passive aggressive, but there’s the case of not donating at all and being sent more messages or being pushed away because of ‘how rude it was of OP to ignore my charity drive posts and not give a single penny’.

    The only way I can explain the ‘Hey I donated you a pittance’ was because the original plan didn’t work, with not being able to donate under a set amount, and to challenge the ‘Every little helps’ part by showing no, no it doesn’t clearly. If it was me it would have been don’t passive aggressively, not sure if Op intended it that way (Some of us are just a little blunt/tactless and don’t realise how things come across to others) or maybe was simply doing it passive aggressively.

    Then again. I could be way off target, as we all could be, it’s our interpretation after all. Without the entire unbiased story I don’t think we can ever say for sure!

  • lkb November 14, 2016, 7:02 am

    “She will only be working from 9AM-4PM for a total of seven days.”

    The OP’s point about Emily’s general gimmepigness and Special Snowflakeyness is well taken, but the above caught me. Would that all volunteers would spend 49 hours of their time for such a worthy cause.
    Exactly how many hours would she have had to serve to gain the OP’s approval? (I suppose if I were going to another part of the world for volunteer work, I’d see if I could swing a few extra days to look around. Granted, not doubling the trip and not on someone else’s dime but okay….)

    I agree with the previous posters that if the OP didn’t want to donate, it would have been easier and better to ignore the request.

    • Cleo November 14, 2016, 8:15 pm

      I agree. When you volunteer somewhere you might not get the opportunity to see the places around you. And an extra week sounds like a lot but is that all in one go? Is it a few days before and after? Does it include travel to the spot where you’re volunteering (some places in Fiji are extremely remote? Once you take jet lag into account she might only have three full days of sightseeing. Seven days of full time work seems pretty solid to me.

    • Lex November 15, 2016, 4:04 am

      I did a little research into Habitats for Humanity trips (took me 10 minutes at most, and that was because I was interested enough to read the site) and the trips are specifically arranged to include ‘cultural experiences’. A ‘Build’ is 5-10 days, and a trip between 10 and 15 days. Flights and transfers aren’t included and accommodation is…. basic, at best. Shared rooms, hostel-type accommodation etc. Luxury jaunts they are not. To actually be able to fundraise, the person going has ALREADY had to stump up a £300 non-refundable deposit to secure their ‘booking’. Then ON TOP of that, the ‘build’ requires ANOTHER £500 for accommodation, insurances, visas, materials etc. Again, STILL WITHOUT Flights or Transfers.

      So: Let us break down a 14-day ‘trip’:
      Day 1: Flight
      Day 2: Probably still flying – depending on where you’re going
      Day 3: Arrival, transfer to build site (which isn’t exactly going to be in the middle of a well connected urban centre…)
      Days 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9: BUILD – working 9-4 – you could be doing ANYTHING – the builds are intensely physical because you are involved in BUILDING something. It’s not a ‘redecorating an existing building’ type work. So you might be mixing mortar, laying roof tiles, plastering. Anything.
      Days 10 and 11: Cultural experience days (arranged by HfH for volunteers to experience local culture and appreciate the lives of the people they are helping) – Not exactly a Spa day…
      Day 12: Transfer back to metropolitan area
      Day 13: Flight
      Day 14: Probably STILL flying.

      So yeah, I REALLY don’t think the OP has actually looked into what this experience will entail. It is NOT a thinly veiled holiday – it’s a trip similar to gap year backpacking but with hands on ‘getting dirty’ building experience included. I think the OP is wrong to judge ‘Emily’ so harshly for this, although I do think if a person does not have an extended network of friends and colleagues who are similarly passionate about the same causes, she will struggle to fund raise and should take this into consideration when choosing where and how to volunteer her time. There are many local and regional charities in need, so if the burden of fundraising is too great on your limited set of friends and family, then you should choose something that costs less.

      • Miss-E November 15, 2016, 9:40 am

        Awesome. Thank you for this. Imho the OP is welcome to ignore the request but there is no cause to level judgement at her. If other people would like to donate their money that is their business and, in the end, Emily is actually doing some good. If the OP has an issue she can hide Emily’s posts or simply unfriend her. Donating $0.35 was beyond unnecessary.

  • Julie November 14, 2016, 8:13 am

    Gotta tell ya, OP, I am so totally with you on this lololol. I am not a nasty person and while I can only regret I have never been able to achieve the level of service to others that you and your husband offer, in my world I do go farther than most to offer the best I can solely because I have been so blessed. And ”Emily” is a frequent enough presence that yes, my petty side can sure come out! I expect that the significance of thirty-five cents is either an inside joke for you, or the amount you had left on a checking balance, lololol, and as for telling Emily about it, I say Bravo!!

    I don’t expect that ”work limitations” are a factor, actually, since I wouldn’t expect Emily is going to be paid for the ”work”. If she is paid for the work, then it is a job, and definitely she should not be sponsored by others if she is going to be earning money.

    Too many phonies want to emulate what others are doing for such the wrong reasons and because their motivations are wrong, the results end up tainting the ones who truly wanted to offer themselves in the spirit of giving. This is why I am on OP’s side so adamantly. None of us are perfect, we SHOULD take the higher road whenever possible, but if we don’t, well, as long as no real harm is done, I give myself a pass to be human on occasion and NOT better than I should be.

    I say Bravo to you for telling Emily about it because if no one clues her in to her self-centeredness, then definitely she cannot change. I don’t expect there will actually be any impact on her from it, but helping people see their blind spots IS what a caring person should do. IT’S BEEN DONE TO ME that is for sure and oh my word, IT HURT, I HATED IT, but oh it sure has changed me into a much better person because someone bothered to be a REAL friend.

    OP, thank you for your work in nursing alone, and even more gratitude goes out to you for your service plans and your husband’s service. May you both be blessed in all your days.

    • Lomita Momcat November 14, 2016, 1:30 pm

      “I am not a nasty person….”

      We don’t get to make that call for other people. The judgment about whether you’re nice or nasty is something other people get to make for themselves.

      • Julie November 14, 2016, 9:58 pm

        Lomita Momcat, no, I DO get to make that judgment for myself. I know what behaviors I have that do or do not comprise nasty or nice. If I do NOT make that judgment about myself, how do I have an identity of any sort? I certainly know what is nasty, I certainly know what is nice. What others choose to perceive – THAT I do not get to choose for them. I certainly made clear that this is not OP’s shining moment, but whooaaa is it her HUMAN moment and that doesn’t make her nasty.

        • Lomita Momcat November 15, 2016, 11:43 am

          You cannot force other people to accept the view you have of yourself. You may think you’re not nasty, but the people you interact with don’t have to accept your self-assessment.

          In general, if most of the people you’re interacting with are reacting to you as if you’re a nasty person, then however you think of yourself, you might want to re-calibrate your self-assessment. Some people’s self-identity can be so far from the way others see them that they’re actually delusional.

          Concepts of self like “nasty” and “nice” tend to be more subjective than objective, and unless you live a completely solitary life with no interactions with other people, your life is going to be shaped by how other people choose to perceive you. You can believe that you’re a nice person, but if everyone you interact with views your behaviors and attitudes as nasty, your self-identity as “nice” isn’t going to count for much: you will be treated as a nasty person. You can think you’re not nasty and scream to the rafters that you know what nice and nasty behaviors are, and you’re not nasty, but that isn’t going to make any difference if other people perceive you as nasty. They will treat you how they see you: as a nasty person.

          Self-identity with regard to concepts like “nice” or “nasty” has to be cognizant of how others regard us, because “nice” and “nasty” are all about how we treat other people, and other people get to judge for themselves how they think you’re treating them– and that judgment is completely independent of your judgment of yourself.x

          • Dee November 15, 2016, 1:40 pm

            Julie gets to identify as whatever she wants. Others are free to label her whatever they want, preferably in private. That’s how free speech works. Lomita Momcat, you’ve just demonstrated that, although not necessarily in a way that everyone would agree with.

          • keloe November 16, 2016, 10:33 am

            Dee, free speech is a political concept and has nothing to do with people saying other people are nice or not.

            Of course anyone can identify themselves as nasty and nice, but those things are very subjective. Very few people identify themselves as something they KNOW is negative. Which is why we get a lot of “I’m not a (insert a negative word, often ending in -ist), but…”

            However, your interactions with the others are shaped by how those others perceive you (general you) as much as how you perceive yourself. I have met enough people who believe themselves to be generous, patient, gracious, etc., while their actions betray completely different characteristics. My interactions with them are ultimately shaped by how I perceive them, not by their own self-definition.

  • Ergala November 14, 2016, 8:18 am

    The OP does not come off very good here….I keep reading how selfish Emily is but all I see is OP running her into the ground and baiting her into a fight over .35. I would be upset if a supposed friend did that to me as well and had the nerve to complain they could not give it to me.

  • Michelle November 14, 2016, 9:07 am

    It’s obvious that you dislike the woman you claim that you used to be close to. If you dislike the way she acts and the way she treats others why do you continue to be friendly with and enabling to her? You go out of your way to pick her up, pay for your outings and buy her $5 coffees- that’s enabling her. You can unfriend someone on Facebook and they never know. If you don’t want to donate to her trip, you simply ignore the posts or, again, unfriend her. By trying to donate $0.35 cents and then telling her about it, YOU were being the rude one and it seems like you wanted her to know that you think she is selfish by creating drama.

  • pennywit November 14, 2016, 9:30 am

    Related: What are folks’ thoughts on Patreon accounts? I’ve known writers, artists, and bloggers to set these up and encourage their regular readers/viewers to donate to the accounts regularly. It seems like the gimme thing; on the other hand, disintermediation means that it’s tougher for writers and artists to find paying gigs, and one could view regular Patreon donation as equivalent to paying a subscription fee or being a patron of the arts.

    • Elisabeth November 14, 2016, 12:28 pm

      Patreon donations can also be used to help people get better equipment to produce better quality work. I have a Patreon for a channel of mine. If I got enough Patrons to be able to afford certain audio/video equipment, that’s what I would use it for. For now, I use the proceeds to buy props for the videos. Web artists can use Patreon to help them afford tablets or programs to help them produce better art, bloggers can consider Patreon funds to be compensation for their time spent blogging (creating a product for people). Patreon is supposed to be a way for people to help their favorite creators be able to produce better quality material.
      Then again there are people who abuse it and just want people to give them money in return for them maybe posting a drawing or a ten-second video every few months. Those people suck.

    • Tan November 14, 2016, 12:34 pm

      I think in general, people are rubbish at “costing” when it comes to art. Many companies as well as individuals like to steal photos, music etc or think it is “good exposure” (the standard artist reply to the “good exposure” comment, should always be along the linesthat: “if this piece has the distribution /exposure you promise then you surely don’t want to risk your /your companies reputation by either using poor art or by being seen to bully the little guy?”) or in many cases people don’t think of the artist at all and just like the work. Patreon accounts are just an attempt to try and solve this issue but I don’t think it gets to the root of the problem. This is a particularly acute problem for small and starting artists (many “big” artists can charge what they like- in fact they, to me can often really over value their work).

    • Mojo November 14, 2016, 12:47 pm

      I know one friend who supports her art through Patreon, Her subscribers get wonderful thank you gifts – a generous ‘welcome’ gift, exclusive videos, birthday cards/presents, a Christmas card and a yearly calendar, showcasing her work.

      She has two part time jobs, which pay the regular bills, but she’d have no money left over to explore the art she loves without her supporters. I’m sure it varies by artist, but I think her sponsors get value for money, and if they didn’t, they could always walk away.

    • Kat November 14, 2016, 1:32 pm

      Patreon accounts are fine IMO. People who choose to pay are subscribing to content they like. I’m subscribed to a couple.

    • Dee November 14, 2016, 3:03 pm

      pennywit – It doesn’t matter what the site/organization is, you don’t solicit from friends and family. It’s rude, plain and simple. If a friend enquires whether the artist is still painting/singing/whatever, the artist can reply that they are involved in an organization that encourages and supports artists, and without it he/she cannot continue their craft. He/she can mention the name of the organization and leave it at that. But outright soliciting for funds is just crossing the line and no matter how dire the need or how eager others are to help there will still be a measure of discomfort, at the very least. Instinct tells us it’s wrong for a good reason.

      If your chosen field does not support you enough that you must seek donations in order to live then you need to do something else in conjunction to your dream job and/or quit dreaming and move on. Reality is a very good teacher and helps to weed out when fantasies are no longer healthy or viable.

      • Ulla November 15, 2016, 9:14 am

        I’m not sure if you are familiar with the concept of Patreon, so few comments. Generally the point of those is not to solicit friends and family (and pennywit did not mention that such thing happened either). It is supposed to be an account where consumers of your art can pay because they enjoyed the art and want to keep you doing said art. Basically, that is not charity/solicition method, it’s closer to selling your artwork, but so that customer can pay more flexiple amounts.

        Of course, if you need to solicit patreon donations (payments) from friends and family, clearly your art is not selling, but if the payments come from the customers, it’s just matter of how the payment is collected. Traditional methods such as selling certain piece do not work as well for all art forms such as webcomics or youtube videos so Patreon type of setups help artists to sell their work. Personally, I’ve seen Patreon “solicitions” only in the context of the art I’m currently consuming. For example when part of the art is free for all, but patreon customers receive extra art or some other benefits, the artists will then advertise that they also have this patreon account with such and such benefits.

        Naturally, if one uses the service for unintended purposes, all bets are off.

        • Dee November 15, 2016, 1:47 pm

          It doesn’t matter what the venue is, if you are seeking others for the purpose of soliciting funds from them then it’s rude. If others come to you to enquire about your project then you can inform them of your fundraising quest. Etiquette applies across the board.

          • Ulla November 16, 2016, 1:50 am

            Vendor is not rude for asking payment nor when they advertice their product. It’s business transaction, not social one. That was my point.

          • Kate November 16, 2016, 12:43 pm


          • Amanda H. November 17, 2016, 8:44 pm

            I take it then that you are opposed to all forms of business advertisement on television, radio, in print, etc.? Because that’s generally how a call to someone’s Patreon acts: as an advertisement of “Hey, you can support my business here.” Just like a radio advertisement saying “Hey, you can come to this store to buy mattresses.”

          • InTheEther November 18, 2016, 3:19 am

            Well, in that case you are covering blog posts, flyers, web banners, or any other form of ad. I’m not sure how people are supposed to know about your project if you don’t somehow announce “Hey, I’m doing X and if you are interested you can go to Y to purchase these perks!”

            Patreon isn’t meant to be a form of charity (even if some try and use it as such). It’s a business transaction. Much the same as Etsy or KickStarter.

        • pennywit November 21, 2016, 4:06 pm

          pennywit did not mention that such thing happened either

          I’ve seen people (sort of) ask friends and family for support on Patreon … mostly in general appeals that are sent to combos of friends, business contacts, and readers/art patrons. I think it’s possible to excuse that a bit, though. When you’re starting out a business, any business, your first contacts are your friends.

      • Booklover13 November 15, 2016, 9:42 am

        An important difference to note about Patroen is that the people being solicited from aren’t friends and family, but consumers/fans of the work. To me this is the key difference that changes things, the money isn’t being just being given, but in a sense invested in seeing more of the Content the contributors wants more of. On top of that often donating also grants the donors privileges, such that they are getting something for their money.

        As an example one of the creators I support runs a web comic. The reward for donating is getting to see early and getting access to bonus strips(not plot relevant). The other benefit is that from those donations the creator can post everyday instead of just 3 times a week because doing this makes him enough to support himself. Both of us benefit from this arrangement.

      • Amanda H. November 15, 2016, 10:34 am

        If a Patreon account is done right (and so far all the many accounts I’ve seen are done right), it functions as a sort of online tip jar or subscription service for bonus content, not as a gimme site. Patreon is opt-in (every content provider I’ve found still offers things for free) so you don’t have to donate to get the basic content. It’s scaled to what subscribers want to donate, much like a Kickstarter, with rewards at varying tiers. As Nenetl below mentions if a content provider doesn’t consistently follow through with their backer rewards, their account will be closed, so the site actually enforces that people who pay get their bonus content. It’s really not that different from YouTubers providing content on YouTube Red or having a paid subscription site for additional videos. It’s selling products and perks beyond the free goods, but on a simpler subscription-based system.

    • InTheEther November 14, 2016, 4:41 pm

      I think it really depends on how the patreon account is set up. I follow a group that does web videos and just about all of them have patreon accounts. In that case though, your getting something for your money. At the very least, early access for $1 a month. Just about all of them also basically sell requests for higher amounts and actually go through it, as well as varying middle rewards. And they’re constantly posting content, so on that case you are purchasing a subscription.

      The gimmes are those who want money but, eh they might possibly do something in return at some vague undisclosed future point. Maybe. But they really want the money.

    • Elka November 14, 2016, 5:44 pm

      I really think it depends on HOW the artist handles their Patreon accounts – I know a LOT of artists who provide extra content for their Patreon patrons per month, and others who’ve opened up Patreon accounts because people were asking them to, because they wanted to donate something in return for all the otherwise free content they were being given. I’m sure there are plenty of artists and other content creators who treat it differently, and more in a ‘gimme’ light, but I honestly haven’t come across many of them (and if I did, it would make me view their content in such a different light that I’m not sure I would be able to continue following them and their work – but I’m a sensitive snowflake that way, hahaha). As far as I know, Patreon’s initial purpose was for people to be able to donate to artists they love so that they could spend more of their time creating wonderful things! If others choose to abuse that system, well … we are welcome to ignore their cries for attention!

    • mark November 14, 2016, 5:58 pm

      They don’t bother me, except I feel bad for not contributing very often. I’ve thought of setting a budget for contributing to content I consume. I might only be a $100/year but at least I’m offering some compensation for the content I use.

    • Nenetl November 14, 2016, 7:31 pm

      I originally thought Patreon was a gimme site, but looking into it a little more I found its not. The money is used as incentive for fans to support the works of an artist or the likes and in return they gain bonus content, such as seeing extra artwork not posed anywhere else, or a comic page a week early etc. It alows some artists to be able to afford basic necessities while delivering frequent content; a webcomic I followed stopped meeting their Patreon goals and due to that they had to find extra work on top of what they already did no as such had to put their comic (Another source of income for them) on hold.

      I thought it was just paying people to do nothing, also, but from what I’ve heard, if you set up a Patreon and don’t deliver regular content, you aren’t aloud a Patreon. It’s kind of a deal of ‘you as the artist deliver frequent content and incentives, and your fans may reward you with a donation of however much they want. So much less gimme piggie, and more of a ‘donate if you’d like- I have bonus content waiting if you want!’ Of course I doubt that’s how everyone uses it but there’s obviously exceptions in all cases!

    • Vicki November 15, 2016, 10:20 am

      It’s definitely set up to be small-scale art patronage. I think it’s fine, because the people I’m aware of who have Patreons aren’t pressuring their friends. I’m donating to one blogger right now, because I value her posts and want to encourage her to blog, and reduce her stress so she has more time for that and for her creative work.

      I also have a good friend who has a Patreon for her poetry. I’m not donating to that one, in part because she’s doing better financially than the blogger I mentioned.

      Neither of those people has pressured her friends to donate: their websites mention that they have this, and a post might say something like “this poem is sponsored by my wonderful Patrons,” but they aren’t sending emails asking for donations.

      It also feels more like an exchange than the “please donate to this charity [and my vacation trip], and you’ll get a tax deduction.” If someone says “do this for the tax deduction,” they’re not just assuming that I’m going to itemize my income taxes, they are putting themselves in competition with the charities I’ve already decided to support. The question isn’t just “is this organization legitimate,” it’s “should I take money that was going to go to the local food bank and give it to you instead?”

      • Amanda H. November 15, 2016, 5:27 pm

        I see Patreon being similar to busking. You get the music (content) either way, but Patreon allows you to throw some money into the content creator’s virtual guitar case, and if they have bonuses for backers it’s like getting a smile out of the busker, or even being allowed to take a candy from their guitar or a flower or something for donating. A bit extra. The busker isn’t up in your face with their guitar case begging, nor are you obligated to pay just because you heard them playing. And the Patreons I’ve seen have been run the same way.

    • NostalgicGal November 16, 2016, 12:44 pm

      I have a cartoonist I Patreon. He is awesome and I pay what I used to pay for a newspaper subscription to keep the work flowing. He’s not living extravagantly, just trying to make ends meet like the rest of us. He also gives forth with what I consider awesome bits to those that support him (original art and signed/doodled books in my case).

      I make art. I can respect a fellow artist. It’s my choice whether or not to Patreon, and though I don’t have a lot myself I can understand totally the making a living. He does a 25c a month subscription which is mostly a ‘yeah I like your work’, and it goes up from there. He also has a ‘tip’ jar and if he gets so much in there, he will produce extra work to pay back those that contribute.

      Each Patreon bit is different. In this case I have a friend, and I have great art, and I am supporting what I enjoy.

  • Wild Irish Rose November 14, 2016, 9:31 am

    If you’re not willing to make a serious donation, don’t even click on the link. What you did showed how petty YOU are. Why even bother? If you don’t want to donate, then don’t. And if you’re that annoyed with her, unfriend her and be done with it.

    • Julie November 14, 2016, 10:06 pm

      While OP ideally should’ve assertively stated these issues to Emily, to just unfriend her and give her no information on the less than positive perception she has provided OP **IS** more of a kindness than just unfriending and leaving a possibly oblivious person to continue on her path of alienating others due to behaviors she has no clue, evidently, are quite off-putting.

      Plenty of times just unfriending is appropriate, but to not let the person know WHY an identifiable issue is the reason you wish to do so is doing a disservice to a fellow human. It stinks to try to fill someone in on bad behavior, so we avoid it, unfriend, distance ourselves, etc., do anything but try to help another see how they are offending people so they do not end up alone without a clue as to why.

      • Julie November 14, 2016, 10:13 pm

        I am so sorry for the mistakes I made in the last comment to Wild Irish Rose. I meant to say that the passive-aggressive method OP chose was more of a kindness than merely unfriending Emily leaving her to wonder why she has alienated yet another person without any clue as to how her behavior was offensive. OP is giving her a indication there is something amiss with how she is coming off. Unfriending her with no information —- how can she change if she doesn’t know what she is doing wrong? It’s a lot more work to try to help someone see what they are doing that is building walls between them and others than it is to say ”oh, I will just cut them loose, even though maybe they would hate learning of their bad behavior but would ultimately be so grateful to find out what the problem is so they can CHANGE”.

        This truly has happened to me plenty of times in my 51 years. I hated learning how I was being perceived when that perception was diametrically opposite of what I intended. I have had to work hard to learn to carefully consider my words, not speak off the top of my head, ask for the other person’s perception while I am dealing with them. THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO CARED ENOUGH TO RISK TELLING ME THE TRUTH. It sucked but oh it was worse to be a blundering idiot and not know it.

  • Shoegal November 14, 2016, 9:32 am

    OP, you seem to spend an large amount of your time worrying about your “friend.” Why not unfriend her, stop lurking on her Facebook page and get on with your life?

  • Ames November 14, 2016, 9:32 am

    Selfish, no. Bitchy, yes. Petty, absolutely.
    It’s too easy to unfriend, block, restrict, unfollow.
    And too easy to say, I can’t right now, I don’t feel comfortable donating, etc.
    Passive aggression isn’t pretty, on anyone.

  • stacey November 14, 2016, 9:40 am

    You come off much the worst of two characters in your tale. Judging, baiting, insulting, intrusive, condescending and annoying. You could have summarized your story and reaction briefly. It would have been an interesting anecdote. At the point where you decided to donate 35 cents (or at the point where you checked her itinerary!)- you crossed from peeved observer to pot-stirring troublemaker. Don’t like her or her trip? Don’t donate. Don’t want to see her appeals for money? Mute that post or unfriend her. You’re unfriendly enough towards her that it is at least a logical move. If you “pile on” in relating such incidents or in reacting to them, you overshadow the severity of the original offense by drawing attention to your own conduct (causing readers to question your objectivity and credibility).

  • Jinx November 14, 2016, 9:51 am

    It sounds like she wasn’t personally speaking to you until you tried to donate 35 cents.

    There’s no shortage of people in the world that do this. Doesn’t make it right, but it’s super odd that you’d put yourself into the position of interacting with her while you claim to get nothing out of the interaction.

    Either you somewhat enjoy following her plans/schemes and also possibly egging her on… or it’s something that doesn’t bring anything to your life. I’m not here to judge; I love egging people on. But it is what it is. I don’t think she’s going to change, so you have to decide if you enjoy following this or not.

    If you do enjoy it, get some popcorn and sit back. If you find it upsetting, block her from your facebook.

  • Willynilly November 14, 2016, 9:54 am

    I decided to look it up too.
    I counted 8 days of work. And travel days, and a day to meet the team and learn what they are doing, and a farewell ceremony. Only one day is billed as vacation-like. And the Fiji trip itself is 2 weeks, the other countries sound like hopeful trips, tgey certainly are separate. As for posting the donation link 6 times, that’s simply once a day… heck the way many websites work, it might not even be her posting – HfH might be posting on her behalf, or it might be the same 1 post being liked and commented on and thereby repeatedly showing up in your feed.

    Clearly you don’t like Emily and don’t want to help her on this trip. Thats fine. But the excessive nastiness and “I am so much more generous” tone of your submission don’t convince me she’s done much wrong.

    • CarlialeW November 15, 2016, 3:57 am

      Wow, when you see the official itinerary it really shows how much the OP is misrepresenting this issue – makes me wonder how much she is misrepresenting/exagerating the other things she has mentioned about Emily’s poor behaviour and gimmeness.

      OP, donating 35c and then telling Emily, was stirring the pot and unneccessary – it make the OP look like the bad friend, not Emily. This is an etiquette site, and with that action OP is the one who should be tossed into e-hell.

    • Lex November 15, 2016, 4:24 am

      I did this too – I looked it up and it’s not at all like a ‘holiday’ and there is a massive burden on the volunteers to organise their own transportation!

  • DGS November 14, 2016, 10:15 am

    Too much drama. You have an option of hitting the unfollow button on Facebook or unfriending her, since it’s clear that you don’t like and don’t have much in common. You don’t have to socialize with her or contribute to her causes, and the passive aggressive donation was completely unnecessary and just stoked the fire that can be left to die out on its own. Rise about the pettiness and avoid her selfishness.

  • Mags November 14, 2016, 10:22 am

    I would assume, based on trips a relative of mine has gone on, that the 7 days is the charity trip, and the extra 7 days IS her vacation that she’s tacked on because who wants to go on a trip and just work? Which is fine and I think sensible IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT.

    A general peeve of mine with everyone setting up personal funding accounts is that they charge a fee. So some percentage of the money raised is not going to the family. If you are close enough to the person for there to be a reasonable chance of wishing to fund them, then you should already know how to get in touch with them. If not, then it’s just begging from strangers. And I get it that some stories are heartbreaking and people jump on the bandwagon, but honestly, I’m sure there are people in your own communities who need help who aren’t begging on the internet.

    • Willynilly November 14, 2016, 10:25 pm

      Actually Habitat for Humanity lists a 14 day itinerary for the Fiji trip which includes only 1 day for sightseeing/vacation (although they point out volunteers have their evenings). And HfH provides the fundraising site, so they would be directly getting the funds.

  • Dee November 14, 2016, 10:26 am

    Hmmmm … the self-righteousness is strong with this one.

    If the slam dunk evidence of Emily’s entitlement is that she walked into OP’s house without ringing the bell first then I’d be really curious to see Emily’s take on the relationship. Because there definitely seems to be a problem, yes, but I’m not sure it’s with Emily. At least not all of it.

    OP, you really get a kick out of being “better” than Emily, don’t you? Why don’t you do her a favour and tell her you’re not her friend? I’m not sure you’re doing her any favour by pretending you are.

    • crebj November 20, 2016, 8:45 am

      What you said.

  • bap November 14, 2016, 10:54 am

    Life is full of these people and there is no need to escalate or encourage the drama. Trust me, people see through them and no amount of “explanation” on your part will change the perception of their “need”. Either delete or scroll past – save yourself the drama. I agree with previous comments-you are engaging her by being passive-aggressive and making yourself look bad in the process. She does that by herself, she doesn’t need your help.

  • ally November 14, 2016, 10:54 am

    Wow, what a jerk eating crackers post.

    Op, since you clearly don’t like this person, back offrom. Stop following their posts, stop paying for things, stop paying attention to what she spends her money on. And goodness gracious, stop spending so much of your valuable time and energy on this person.

  • Lisa H. November 14, 2016, 11:16 am

    One should not respond to bad manners with more bad manners. The donation of .35 was passive aggressive. Either donate or don’t. If you don’t care for your (friend’s) tactics on funding her trip, then don’t donate and ignore the request. Sometimes radio silence speaks louder than words.

  • Lomita Momcat November 14, 2016, 11:17 am

    ….And your reason for devoting so much time, effort and angst to such an awful person is???

    OP, whatever Emily’s faults and failings, she’s got you dancing on a string like a toy puppet. So much ire and self-righteousness filling your life. Why does she have so much power when she’s so insignificant to your life?

    From both an etiquette standpoint and a mental health standpoint, the way to deal with someone like Emily is to be completely indifferent to her.

    If you can’t manage to do that, you might want to examine your own life and the way you’re living it to figure out why Emily has you expending so much effort in dealing with a situation that could be solved by “unfriending” her on Facebook.

  • Lisa November 14, 2016, 11:19 am

    Well, you poked the bear with your immature donation.

    So if you dislike her so much then just unfriend her and be done with it. I’m not sure what you intended to achieve with either your passive aggressive behavior or by writing a letter about it, but either stop being friends with her or enjoy the drama which you profess to hate.

  • AppleEye November 14, 2016, 11:35 am

    OP, you may not be ‘the selfish one,’ per se, but I’m afraid this story does not paint you in an entirely positive light. Would it not have been a better choice to just unfollow or unfriend her on Facebook and avoid the drama? Why make a point of trying to donate a tiny amount and then go through trying to explain why it wouldn’t work? This whole thing makes you sound bitter and petty. Stop comparing your life to other people’s and move on.

  • Gabriele November 14, 2016, 11:59 am

    I do think the volunteer was greed personified; I’m not that upset with how the LW tried to get her point across. Anything less than a confrontation like that would either just ignoring her (as I’m sure many will) or going along (unacceptable).
    Here’s the FAQs for the Habitat Global Village program. The trip cost is for the participation in the program in a particular country. Everything else would be for the account of the participant.
    Should someone ask me to donate to them (and I do support their work) I would donate to the local (US) program.
    Yes HfH does encourage people to fund raise for their trip and has suggestions but I do doubt they’d suggest asking for more so the volunteer could extend their vacation.
    If the friend does go, what do you want to bet it appears on her resume and she’ll talk about how important it was for her. It may well be, but it still seems like a gimme pig.
    Do unfriend her now but ask a mutual friend to keep you updated. If she does very good work, write an apology. If the trip falls apart because not enough people donated then that will be another matter.

    I am a forum member of a travel company website and you’ve no idea how many people think they can travel (esp in South East Asia) volunteering at places on their route so they get free board and room. Always horribly disappointed to discover it doesn’t work that way. They can barely feed the people there and the skills a traveller might have would not be that useful. Helping people learn
    English (and the traveller is not a qualified ESL teacher usually) is not much of a contribution when what is needed is shelter and clean running water.
    There is much volunteer work going on all over the world. either make a commitment to help or decide to travel. Can’t really do both.

    • Lomita Momcat November 14, 2016, 2:34 pm

      Why is it OP’s job to confront, or “call out,” or “teach a lesson” to Emily? Who appointed OP “Head Cow” or “Leader of the Pack” or “Top Hen in the Peck Order” that it’s her job to do any of these things?

      Unlss OP is Emily’s mother, it isn’t her job to correct Emily. Deciding that she has to teach Emily a lesson puts her on the wrong side of officious and presumptive.

      If Emily is annoying, all the OP has to do to solve that problem is avoid her and ignore her. That’s actually a pretty strong statement to make: that you don’t want to be around someone. And when you avoid someone who is annoying and just go about your business without making a fuss, you’re staying on the right side of good manners, too.

      Officiously correcting someone who it is not your responsibility to correct is like mud-wrestling with a pig: you just get dirty, and the pig likes it.

      • Julie November 14, 2016, 10:18 pm

        Just ignoring Emily is doing a disservice to her. Everyone wants to say NOT MY JOB when it comes to helping someone else learn of behaviors they may display that turn people off and leave the person wondering what on earth they did AGAIN probably that is leaving them friendless.

        Friends of even an arm’s length distance aren’t friends if they only take on what is easy to do.

        We can’t change if we do not know we are wrong.

        • Lerah99 November 15, 2016, 11:40 am

          She’s not Emily’s parent. Nor does she seem to be a good enough friend to offer a bit of “loving advice.”
          It is not the letter writer’s place to pull this passive-aggressive BS and then act like she was doing it out of love.

          Hey, I did some really insensitive, rude, and careless things as a young adult. I think about how I treated my roommate when I was 19 and I shudder.

          People who were close friends of mine, did take the time to offer careful, loving advice. And I appreciate them.

          Even just little things like “Hon, you called me. So it’s really your job to wrap up the conversation” and “You know, when returning a dish, you should put something in it. Even if it’s just some wrapped candy.”

          To bigger things like “It hurts my feelings that you are always late when we get together. It feels like you don’t find me or my time important.”

          But none of them pulled a holier-than-thou attitude and tried to SHAME me into being a better person by mocking something I cared about deeply.

          Emily wants to fly halfway around the world and spend a week building houses for a needy community. You can find her hitting up and friends and family for the privilege a little tasteless.

          If the OP was a close friend who pulled her aside and said “Hey Emily. You keep posting this request for people to help contribute to your trip. And you’ve posted recently about some big expenditures like your new tattoo. So it comes across like you expect your friends and family to pay for your vacation while you spend your money on more important things. My husband and I haven’t been on vacation in 3 years. And it feels a little tone deaf that you’re asking us to pay for your vacation while you won’t even save your own money for it. I know that’s not your intention. But I thought you should know how it comes across and why you might have a hard time getting the donations you’re looking to receive.” then I’d support her.

          But instead the OP wanted to pull this petty “I’ll show you!” stunt with the $0.35.
          This doesn’t seem to be about helping a friend see a character flaw that is causing them trouble. This seems like the OP wanting everyone to congratulate her for being the better person, when in fact her own character flaws are a little glaring.

        • Lomita Momcat November 15, 2016, 12:05 pm

          If Emily asks OP “What am I doing wrong?” that’s one thing. Emily has solicited OP’s opinion and assistance.

          If OP takes it upon herself to tell Emily what she thinks of Emily’s actions, e.g., “Emily, I think your crowd-funding appeal to pay for your trip is very selfish and greedy, you should pay your own way,” that’s unsolicited criticism and very rude.

          OP could approach Emily and say something like “Emily, I’m worried about how your crowd-funding appeal comes across to other people. Can we talk about it?” And start a conversation, but only if Emily is willing. If Emily doesn’t want to talk about it, the conversation can’t continue without becoming rude and intrusive.

          FWIW, I tend to regard my friends as competent, capable, rational human beings who can manage their own lives, including seeing their own mistakes and correcting them by themselves. I don’t see it as my job to monitor their lives for errors or try to make them over into who or what I think they should be, and they regard me the same way. If we want help or an opinion, we ask for it; and we assume that of each other.

          Friends are people whose company you enjoy just as they are. If you don’t enjoy someone as they are, then don’t be friends with them. If you feel an overwhelming urge to constantly try to “help” someone who hasn’t actively solicited your help, it’s probably not a healthy relationship.

        • Dee November 15, 2016, 3:44 pm

          Julie – OP can tell Emily what makes her uncomfortable but cannot tell Emily that she is right or wrong in her actions. If enough people tell Emily that her behaviour makes them personally uncomfortable, then it is in Emily’s court to decide if she wants to continue alienating her friends and possibly lose them, or not. It is not okay for OP (or anyone) to tell Emily that she is wrong/rude. A person can only really speak to their own feelings and let the listener make their own decisions based on that. The exception to this is the law, of course; acting illegally means accepting that others are in their right to judge a person openly.

    • Yasuragi November 14, 2016, 6:03 pm

      Aren’t there people who travel around the world and then write books about how to do it? Glossing over the part about having to know people in the right circles of life, violating labor and work VISA laws and having a trust fund to dip into when things go sour.

  • Huh November 14, 2016, 12:28 pm

    I have had people buy me $5 coffee when I was in a bad spot and feeling pretty down about it. I thought they were being nice and trying to cheer me up. I hope they were and not secretly mocking me and taking inventory of everything I’m doing and spending money on.

    You obviously don’t like this person – stop hanging out with her. Ignore her FB posts, there’s many ways of doing it. I have friends on my FB list that have posted links to their funding pages for them to go to college, go protest something, volunteer in random country, etc. I just keep scrolling. Not interested. I don’t quiz them on how much time they will be working/protesting/classes they are taking, how much money they really need, etc. because I don’t care. I’m not interested.

    You’re not interested. Keep scrolling.

    • Lex November 15, 2016, 4:36 am

      I know, right? My colleagues and I all earn (roughly) the same, but each of us has our own personal situations and having recently married, money has been tight for me. So my colleagues have occasionally bought me coffee (they offered, I didn’t ask). I would hope this is a kindness with no greater significance attached to it. I’d be so hurt if I found out they were keeping tally of who they bought what for and who is the ‘leech’. I certainly don’t keep track when the roles are reversed.

      I think the key, though, is whether or not generosity is a) appreciated and b) unsolicited. If I were to go out with a friend who constantly made a point of how poor they were to ‘shame’ me into buying their coffee, I’d be peeved. I might also be peeved if the effort in a friendship is one-sided. I used to have a ‘friend’ like this: she would make noises about how much she missed seeing me etc, so I’d end up going out of my way to see her. I’d buy us tickets to movies, or take her for lunch. But it was ALWAYS one-sided. I was ALWAYS the one doing the running. She would let me down last-minute on more than one occasion, and the tipping point was when I was about to leave to pick her up for a movie and she rang to cancel saying her ‘Grandad was sick’. The next day on Facebook, she posted on a mutual friends’ wall thanking her for a lovely evening the night before. Yes, she cancelled on me to go for dinner with someone else, despite us having arranged our meet well in advance. In the end I decided to ‘withhold’ my efforts to see whether or not she would reciprocate my affections. She did not. I allowed the friendship to wither away and quietly unfriended her on Facebook. I’m pretty sure she hasn’t even noticed.

  • abby November 14, 2016, 12:34 pm

    Is the date on the end right? This is from 2010?

    I echo everyone else’s comments. While I dislike the kind of high pressure fundraising Emily was doing (some of these charity trips to far off locations probably cost more money than whatever monetary value is derived from the participant going), the whole point of this post seems to be so OP can point out how much better she is than Emily.

  • GeenaG November 14, 2016, 12:40 pm

    Just unfriend her, block her and minimize your contact. She’s clearly shown you who she is and you apparently don’t like it. Move on.

  • NostalgicGal November 14, 2016, 1:03 pm

    OP, you are the drama-llama here. Someone pulled this stuff on me I would have unfriended long before I got six postings in one day to the funding account. At the checking the itinerary, my next keystroke would have been to click unfriend. And move on with my life.

    As for the other gal, yes she is a gimme-pig but. Best to never have even tried to donate, and just move ON. The trainwreck will be hers as I bet she won’t get near enough donations to go. You baited the gimmie-pig though so you deserve the vitriol. Now either you’re going to hang and watch or just unfriend and keep moving.

    • Willynilly November 14, 2016, 10:19 pm

      “Today is Friday and since Wednesday, she posted the link to her donation site six times.”

      It was 6 posts in 6 days, not 6 posts in one day.

      • Willynilly November 15, 2016, 8:03 am

        Actually no, my mistake, its 3 days (I was doing Friday to Wednesday in my head). But still it says “posted” such as on Facebook, not sent directly in an email, etc. Newsfeeds can move fast, and many posts will get missed, so multiple postings are propably intended to widen the audience, not to target the same individuals multiple times.

        • Amanda H. November 17, 2016, 8:53 pm

          Knowing the size of my family’s FB friends list, I can see the newsfeed moving fast. The main reason I can quickly get to the point of “your friend liked this recently” or “your friend commented on this recently” is because I keep my own friends list very small on purpose. But for people with 300+ names on their friends list, I can understand needing to repost in order to make sure a status update gets seen. I’ve had to specifically tag people in posts I’ve made for them because otherwise they were going to miss it completely in the slew of other posts from their friends (especially the friends who are constantly updating their statuses while on road trips or for every food item they eat that day).

      • Amanda H. November 15, 2016, 5:20 pm

        Wednesday to Friday would be six posts in three days, not one. If it were the other way around (“Today is Wednesday and since Friday”), then it would be six in six. So Emily has apparently posted an average of twice a day per the OP’s words.

      • NostalgicGal November 16, 2016, 12:50 pm

        That’s still an excessive amount of posting the link.

  • Amara November 14, 2016, 1:19 pm

    I can understand the urge to post that passive-aggressive reply, but why give into it? Just remove her from your life and you’ll never be irritated by her again.

  • Ashley November 14, 2016, 2:30 pm

    I would have just clicked the Unfollow button and let that be the end of it.

    You know this person has a history of this sort of thing and yet you still chose to engage her with your .35 cents…

  • Cat November 14, 2016, 7:57 pm

    I solve the “friend I don’t like problem” by forgetting that I know them and by not contacting them. Rude and entitled people generally make poor friends and are seldom worth the effort it takes to be with them.

  • Starstruck November 14, 2016, 10:20 pm

    Huh. Maybe I’m in the minority here but I don’t see where it’s such a big deal what she did. Hfh is a wonderful organization and your friend was willing to go , so who cares about the actual work load/rest time ratio. That’s set by them. Maybe they feel people who are volunteering their time are deserving of some down time? And trust me spending seven days building houses is not a mild amount of work. Asking for sponsors may seem like a gimme grab but I don’t see it that way. She is using the money to be a part of a trip that will help other people so I just don’t see what the big deal is. As a teen I attended many missionary trips that were sponsored, where we worked soup kitchens and such and there was always some fun time allowed . Give the girl a break .

  • Julie November 14, 2016, 10:21 pm

    Rude and entitled people continue to be rude and entitled if they have no clue that their behavior is totally unacceptable.

    Yes, trying to clue someone in to such things often falls on deaf ears. But if it makes a difference for one person, when ideally you have approached them with love and genuine concern, it can be a turning point in someone’s life.

    But no one wants to be that good of a friend. It’s too easy to unfriend, and too much work to really care. So OP didn’t do it in the most supportive and direct manner —- SHE TRIED.

    • Devin November 15, 2016, 11:22 am

      From a purely etiquette stance it is never anyones place to point out others faux pas. Even a great friends, and it appears the OP is a long time acquaintance at best as they had ‘drifted appart’.

      If she genuinely wanted to hit her friend with a clue by four, she should have approached her directly with her concern for how these public appeals for money may look to others. The sending 0.35, then feigning surprised that ‘any amount will help’ meant at least $10, was passive agressive. If she is so clueless, She probably thought OP was being so generous to donate the only money she could spare since the OP has made sure everyone is aware of her level of generosity.

  • Rebecca November 15, 2016, 1:36 am

    I think people are being a bit harsh on the OP.

    However, I agree that trying to donate 35 cents is ridiculous, and even more, telling the person about it. If I were to see a request for money that I didn’t agree with, I would just ignore it.

    I don’t really think it’s unreasonable to tack on some vacation time on to a volunteer trip. It’s a lot of time and money to go to these places, so it would be a waste not to stick around long enough to actually see it. But I agree that asking people to fund it given that it’s really a working vacation, is a bit much.

  • Just4Kicks November 15, 2016, 3:31 am

    My one son had a friend who volunteered with Habitat for Humanity instead of going on spring break.
    I’m not sure what he personally did while he was there, but 9am to 4pm (as you stated) is a seven hour work day, doing very menial and hard work.
    I’m not sure what this gal you mentioned was given to do, but helping build houses for seven hours a day seems to me very hard work.
    That being said, no I don’t agree how she went about getting donations from you and others.
    But, I know for seven hours a day, she wasn’t sitting about doing her nails…..They put you to WORK.
    I’m kind of torn about this situation, but you don’t have to donate anything you don’t want to.
    Cross her off your friend list and be done with her, if that’s what you want.

  • Kay November 15, 2016, 7:41 am

    Sounds like you should have separated from this person’s friendship long ago because this is entirely unhealthy. Work on making your feelings verbally known, if you must, rather than getting involved in petty passive aggressiveness. No, I don’t agree with the asking of money always, but this is unhealthy.

  • ketchup November 15, 2016, 8:20 am

    Unfriend and forget.

  • Wendy B November 15, 2016, 11:51 am

    I think what we have here is: this is the final straw for OP who has been dealing with this friend for years and isn’t seeing things clearly at the moment. Really, if she was such a gimmie pig, why did you remain friends? Or does she actually have some good qualities that you liked enough to stick with her?

    My friends had their house built by Habitat, and I can tell you, there’s no free lunch going on there…it’s hard work for everyone involved (all volunteers). I think her biggest problem has been that she’s been posting about it constantly. If you can’t donate anything, don’t be petty about it. Just don’t say anything. Telling her you tried to donate 35 cents is petty. And childish. If you’ve really had it with her, unfriend her.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think OP really has a problem…I think she’s looking for sympathy for something that she’s willing to deal with maturely.

  • Becca November 15, 2016, 2:40 pm

    I see this as a friendship that soured and now no matter what she does, you’re going to find a problem with it. I understand that, absolutely on a personal level, I promise you that I understand your frustration and why you baited her on this one. Only I do hope that as things settle, you see that both of you were going about everything all wrong.

    It’s a 14 hour plane trip from West Coast USA to Fiji. To put into perspective for those who may not know. Not sure where Emily is flying from but it’s not a short trip, you are essentially flying an entire day. Then there’s the time difference to take into consideration.

    It’s important to understand the different cultures that you experience when you’re doing international charity work. It’s what keeps people connected to their dedication to assisting with these projects.

    I come from a long line of military veterans, including a grandfather who fought in both world wars and was missing in action for a year before finding his way back home. To use your husband’s service or your future service to “one up” someone in terms of “I’m so truly unselfish, look at me!”, you’re doing it all so wrong and tacky to put a few words to it.

  • BagLady November 16, 2016, 11:10 pm

    Many charitable endeavors encourage — some even require — participants to fundraise. Even if the participant can afford to pay his/her own way, fundraising is a way of getting the larger community involved and invested in the work.

    Crowdfunding has just made it easier to ask a lot of people all at once to contribute. It’s also easier on the contributors to punch in a credit card number than to write and mail a check. Not to mention the fact that a person who *doesn’t* want to donate is not put in the uncomfortable position of having to say “no” directly. S/he can just ignore the appeal.

    For all we know, Emily is planning to pay for the non-Habitat portion of her trip out of her own pocket. But we don’t know that since we’ve only heard OP’s side, and OP appears to have some prejudice against Emily based on her interpretation of Emily’s past behavior.

    For the record, I don’t think that Emily’s walking into OP’s mother’s house without calling first or knocking is *necessarily* “rude and entitled.” By the letter of etiquette law, it’s rude … but it may be that Emily comes from a background (neighborhood, family, culture) where that is normal and expected. But again, we only have OP’s side.

    • Lucy November 17, 2016, 9:49 pm

      I agree with this. Everyone I know who has gone on mission trips for church has done extensive fundraising–sending out letters, etc. For that type of trip it’s just what is expected, as far as I know. HfH is a little different than a mission trip, but it’s along the same lines of helping people in need. Donating to a person’s trip would be a good way to help without actually going on the trip yourself.

      Within my large group of close friends, there are a few of us who always knock/ring the doorbell, but if the host knows we are coming over, then we all see it as acceptable and even expected to just walk right in. I think that might actually be a regional thing–I seem to remember reading a book where the character moved to another state and was surprised when people didn’t knock but rather walked right into the house.

  • MPW1971 November 18, 2016, 11:54 am

    I’m on the side of the OP and I have grown to be disdainful of many aspects of “crowdfunding” where there isn’t a deliberate product. I have bought many good things via Kickstarter, but the publicity stunt of crowdfunding some potato salad shows the dark side of this.
    I support the notion of charitable crowdfunding – it’s no different from how a family might receive donations from their fellow neighbors, co-workers, service club members, or churchgoers. In the past, though, it fell to someone else to make that request – you don’t ask for money for yourself, but for others. I like this – and I support donating money in this fashion.
    But it’s a bigger and more connected world and if your story gets out to enough people, even $1 from every person who reads it would mean millions. Why is that bad?
    One Christmas I got a gift of a donation on my name to Kiva, a microlending organization. I had seen this at work when I was doing business in Peru – a farmer may borrow enough money to buy a few goats to start raising them – money on the order of a few hundred dollars in a developing country where banks don’t exactly exist up in the mountains. But Kiva now loans money domestically – in the US – for various businesses looking to get started. Loans of up to $10,000 for inventory, marketing, fitness equipment, trucks, food trailers, and so on. This should not be the function of a microlending charity – $10,000 is not a micro-loan and I think that these small businesses should be going to a bank, submitting their business plan, and getting money only if their business plan is viable. That’s how it should be in the first world. If you own a toy store, you should not look to a charity to help you remodel it.
    It gets worse. Crowdfunding of students and for school trips and projects is rampant – only that there isn’t always a lot of organization. Does the school get the money, or the students? If the students are minors – as is most often the case in high school – who is their adult “trustee”? And what about that whole issue of “deserving”? I contacted a school located in one of the wealthiest districts in Canada – one with the highest family income and housing values – because their students were running an unauthorized crowdfunding project for a robotics tournament. This was not facilitating a road trip for a poor, inner-city school of immigrants and single-parent children. This was a trip for 20 students including flights and a 5-star hotel stay (even though the “competition team” was only 6 – the rest were for “support and cheerleading”). Students who were already, by virtue of where they lived, from some of the wealthiest families in Canada. Is that harsh? Should I admire and applaud their tenacity in trying to get funding by any means necessary, rather than relying on their parents? Well in this one case, the group had opened up their books to prospective donors – all other fundraising methods had yielded less than $3 per person so far. There was no ledger line for “matching donations or contributions” from themselves – only that their two attempts to sell pizza for profit had failed miserably and things were now into the “gimme” stage.
    Crowdfunding for charity should include two things always. First, you should know the person or be a member of their community. Second, is that there is a need for charity. If my friend’s “dream” is to travel the world, I suggest they get a job to pay for it. If their dream is to own a vintage muscle car, I offer the same advice. It’s what I had to do – and while I am of sound mind and body, I consider it a point of pride to not ask for charity because it takes away from those who need it.