By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter
Maureen Rogers, of The Opinionated Marketers, recently did a riff on the Cap One credit card tag line. She begins by saying,
"Well, there’s no getting around the fact that for most of us, in our extended, metaphorical, 401-K-ish wallet, there’s less than there was last year.
But if you’re reading this blog, there’s an exceedingly high probability that there’s more in your wallet than there is in that of the average person who uses the services of St. Francis House."
She then goes on to encourage people to contribute to worthy causes, talking about her favorite causes, of which St. Francis House is one.
So, in what should be the spirit of the season...I add my voice to hers. Now, I know there are people out there - some may well be reading this - who really are in dire straits, but...most of us are - as Maureen notes - still in far better shape than many. Here's a short "selfish self-check" for you (and me):
1. Did you buy a cuppa from Starbucks this week? That probably set you back at least three bucks. Three bucks can buy a couple of meals at a homeless shelter. Multiply that by - say - a month of Starbucks and it quickly adds up. (I paid $17.90 to "buy 10 t'giving dinners" at Joy Junction this year.)
2. Did you not even think or blink when you filled up the gas tank this week? Certainly, prices have gone down, but some hard-working people can't afford car payments, much less gasoline...to get to the food bank to "shop" for their families. I whipped my credit card through, noted happily that prices were down, and went on my merry way.
3. Did you not even bother to look at the price on that bottle of wine for the holiday party? I didn't.
4. Is your refrigerator stuffed with leftovers from that party? Mine is. And, I've had smoked salmon sandwiches for lunch twice already this week. I'm far from wealthy, but...there ya go.
5. Are you not waking up at 3 a.m. wondering how you're going to keep your business afloat? Many otherwise prosperous-looking merchants are...whatever you spend this season, please spend it locally. Otherwise, all those cool, quirky little shops and great restaurants may not be there next year...or even next month (which is next year...)
6. What's going to happen to those presents under the tree - once they're unwrapped? Betcha a big percentage of them end up stuffed into the already crammed garage within a couple of months.As Bill McKibben notes in Hundred Dollar Holiday, when you've already got a lot of stuff, getting presents isn't the fun it used to be back in the hard-working frontier days, when an orange was a very big deal.
I like stuff as much as anybody...but...do I really need more stuff...or does somebody need just a little help out there? (Here's one way I "find" dollars to give: When I don't spend, for example, $10 on lunch out..I think of that as money I can drop in the Salvation Army bucket next time I pass one. Besides, I've still got some smoked salmon at home I need to finish...)