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Dutchess_III's avatar

What do you think the response would be if I set up collection points for money donations to help poor people pay their utility bills?

Asked by Dutchess_III (39841points) June 17th, 2011

We have two churches in town who will give a poor family $50 to help with one utility bill a year. Sometimes they don’t have the funds. So if I specified that all the monies donated would go specifically to those churches for that reason, what do you think the response would be?

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14 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

“How do I know the money will really go there?”

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Wouldn’t you have to get some kind of non-profit status in order to even be able to collect funds like that?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Same way you put money in on faith at any collection point. But I did think of that….I could post receipts from the church on the can. Take the money in once a month, then tape the new receipt on the can.

@ANef_is_Enuf No more, I would think, than people who set up collection points for sick children in the community. I would imagine non-profit would only become an issue if you received X number of thousand dollars. I think.

zenvelo's avatar

I think you would be more successful in the winter than in the summer. “Help the poor with heating bills” works better then.

And personally, I would be more inclined to put in money if the jar was labeled “St Runk’s Poverty Outreach” instead of “help Poor People pay their electric bill…”

Haleth's avatar

A can doesn’t sound very safe, unless someone trustworthy is watching over it at all times. If you’re looking for a physical collection place, a local business with a charitable reputation might work. I’d be most likely to donate directly to the church by check, but if the church has a website you help them set up a paypal account and collect donations that way. Maybe (with the church’s approval) you could write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to tell people about the charity, or you could send the newspaper a press kit about this cause. You could also create flyers and put them on a bulletin board, telling people how/where to donate. Good luck!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, for one thing @zenvelo THERE AIN’T NEVER BEEN NO SAINT NAMED ‘RUNK!’ The church wouldn’t allow it!

This has lead to some interesting thoughts. On the other thread jonsblondejons posted a link to a program called “food outreach.” Why wouldn’t the words “utility outreach” be as effective? Is it because of the emotions that many people tie up with food, or what? Yes, there would probably be more donations in the winter, because everyone knows what it’s like to be cold. But not everyone knows what it’s like to live without electricity, period. No hot water, no stove, no oven. Can’t even run a fan when it’s 110. I guess if people haven’t experienced it, they can’t really sympathize.

@Haleth Well, the collection cans are always set up on the counter at the convenience stores. There is someone there all of the time. That kind of takes care of it being watched, plus it’s spur of the moment advertising. I wonder if people would donate? I think I’ll try it and see! I’ll call it “Utility Outreach,” and have an explanation below. This could prove interesting. I think I could call the paper and let them know where the collection points are….

FutureMemory's avatar


Aren’t you a teacher?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@FutureMemory I could have said, in all seriousness, “There has never been, to my knowledge, a Saint named Runk.” That would be just dumb, don’t you think? Plus, it would have taken the spin off of the funniness of a Saint named ‘Runk.’ Do you really, honestly think that I wrote that sentence thinking that it was correct?
You know me well enough to know that I don’t talk that way as a matter of course.

An illiterate person can not write like a literate person, but a literate person can write like an illiterate person, if they chose. I forget who said it, but it makes it difficult for law enforcement folks who are trying to determine a person’s personality and intelligence level from a written letter.

FutureMemory's avatar

I was kidding with you, Val.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ok! You weirded me outs! There was no happy face or anything!

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III My parents knew an artist back in the 60s with the last name of Strunk. He wanted to differentiate himself, so he signed all his work St Runk. It’s been a running joke/generic saint’s name ever since….

Dutchess_III's avatar

It was funny! Thanks for sharing that bit of family lore with us!

flutherother's avatar

Or how about St Arving’s fund for the hungry?

Dutchess_III's avatar

No, because they have a gazzillion programs set up to help the hungry poor people, including food stamps.
That’s kind of what started this….everyone thinks they’re helping out by stuffing the poor people with food, but don’t give a hang whether they can pay their utility bill or rent payment.

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