January 14, 2004

Do you like getting free stuff in the mail? Stuff like greeting cards, return address labels, calendars, mugs, piggy banks, key chains, and the like?

If so, write out a couple of checks to the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Both are worthy charities and both long have been at the top of the list of recipients of my once well known largesse. And both will keep you well supplied with trinkets and doodads for the rest of the year. Think of your donations as the gifts that keep on giving -- to you.

Although I wasn’t able to make my annual year-end donation to either group, I continue to receive little gift packages, or gratuities, from both organizations. Just yesterday I received five greeting cards from the Humane Society.

Last fall I noticed for the first time that a donor can elect not to receive such merchandise, thereby enabling the Humane Society and the ASPCA to put more of one’s donation to work helping animals and promoting the safe and sane treatment thereof.

I was tempted at the time, but to be honest, I kind of like getting free stuff.

By the way, the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will hold its annual Mardi Paw fundraiser at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on February 21. Tickets are $60 in advance and $75 at the door. You should go. Pets, unfortunately and inexplicably, are not allowed. Mildred and I will be there in spirit.


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