Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Decisions, Decisions.....

I've done a pretty good job of eliminating junk mail coming into my house, but I'll have to admit I'm still getting two clothing catalogs, just because I like to drool over their clothes. L.L. Bean satisfies the outdoorsy side of my personality; Coldwater Creek makes me think I might someday make a fashion statement as a "professional" woman (for the two hours a week that I need to look professional!). I should just get off their lists, since I can't afford most of what they offer. I look at them for a couple of days, and then chuck them out, which is really a waste.

Today I have two catalogs in the house. The Coldwater Creek one came today, and I started to indulge my fantasies as I ate my lunch.

But, also on the table was a catalog I had brought home from church on Sunday, put out by World Vision. I had salivated over that one for several days, too.


So, what do you think? Should it be the tropical blue print dress for $79.50? Or the flock of chickens for the starving family for $50.00?

17 comments:

arduous said...

Joyce, I can't tell you how much I appreciate that you bring this up and bring it up often on your blog. Personally, I'd go with the chickens. I hear dresses are hard to digest. ;)

Joyce said...

Arduous, when I went to Honduras I saw people scavenging in dumps and living in..well, not really houses, just some kind of shelter made out of junk. And yet they worked their tails off all day! It's just not fair.

Donna said...

I went to Kenya in 1995 and visited an African ministry housed in a simple little building, but doing remarkable things on their shoestring budget.

On the other side of the fence was a monstrocity of a construction project -- they were building something that looked like the Taj Mahal in comparison. We gaped, and asked what it was. The answer? "Oh, that's World Vision." I'm sure there's another side to the story, but I'll never give one penny to World Vision. By all means, go with the chickens, but maybe there is another organization that uses their finances more effectively.

Joyce said...

I'll check a little further, Donna, but I've always heard very good things about World Vision, particularly with regard to well digging. Maybe it was their main administrative building for a large area? They are a large organization.

CindyW said...

Tough call :)

If I had to choose, I'd choose neither. Here is why:

I am a geek at heart, so I put % on the categories of donations and vary the percentages every year depending on, well, everything. Say I decided to give $1,000 in 2008, I'd put 50% to environmental organizations, 35% to political donations, and 15% to other causes. Next year when the election is all over, I will re-adjust the percentages. It really helps me figure out whether I can put my $ in a specific cause or not, because I get so many competing requests (from my own doing of course for signing so many petitions).

Now you know. I am a total geek. Sorry for not being any help here.

Joyce said...

Cindy, the politcal system would fall apart if it depended on people like me!:)
Everyone has to give as they feel led. I probably wouldn't ever give a political donation (although I have stuffed envelopes for a candidate), and I am quick to support tax initiatives for, say Forest Preserves or other environmental things-by support I mean vote for candidates and initiatives. I'm a careful voter, so I wouldn't say I'm apolitical, but I'm pretty convinced government is not the answer to much that is wrong with the world, so that's not where my passion lies. I'm big on offering a hand up-my hand, not someone else's. I just feel that responsiblility. Paying taxes to a different Kingdom, I guess.

DramaMama said...

I'm of the mind that if I can find something like the dress used at a thrift store, I would do that before buying one new. The resources used in making/advertising/shipping etc new things are outlandish and maybe you not buying it wouldn't make a huge statement, but we've got to start somewhere right? It's not easy to find exactly what I'm looking for at a thrift store but I enjoy the hunt and I realize how many things people donate that are in really good shape! So...long answer to a short question...go visit a thrift store and use your extra money to help others =) (whatever 'others' you choose...)

Nan - said...

This was like reading a short (well, very short!) story with a surprise ending. I was all prepared to see the clothes you were going to buy in two catalogues. Whew. Great post. Donna's comment was another surprise. Maybe this is why the 'think globally, act locally' is really a good thing. When we give in our communities, we see where that money actually goes, and if it isn't used correctly, someone finds out about it.

I see groups of kids going to a country in need, doing great work, but I wonder if they have looked next door, or at the homeless person on their main street. I guess the answer is that each person must give of themselves or money to the organization that they are drawn most to. For one, it might be food for starving people, for another it might be the struggling arts, for another it might be a humane society for animals; there are so very, very many really worthy causes.

Joyce said...

Nan, I hear your concerns about groups going to out-of-country projects. We've weighed that a lot at church. If we sent the money that would be spent on our travel to the mission, instead of going there, would it make a bigger dent? But our experience has been that when we send people out of their comfort zones and they see whole huge areas that are barely subsisting (which we don't really see here), they really get a wake-up call and become more generous. We do have things going on locally, too-food pantry, home repair, etc., and I'm proud to say my son is a leader for that stuff. But he went on many a mission trip in his younger years!

matt said...

Get the dress. Seriously.

All seriousness aside, however... here's a way to do both:

Buy the dress. Wear it to a City Council meeting to impress them into letting you have live chickens in your yard. Raise your own chickens and send some of them overseas. Eat the rest.

Repeat with cows.

CindyW said...

I like Matt's perspective. That's clever. Do it together. I have always thought the world would be a better place if 90% of the people could make 10% changes, rather than 10% of the people making 90% changes :)

Joyce said...

Okay, Matt, but I draw the line at cows. NO COWS!!

matt said...

Sheep, then?

Under that plan, you could then learn how to shear, spin, and then MAKE your new dresses! :)

Joyce said...

Matt, I guess I don't even get the chickens. Your dad has put his foot down. Two cats are enough livestock.

matt said...

So, what, then... no more worms?

At least the cats are self-cleaning!

Going Crunchy said...

I'm so laughing.....I have a Heifer catalog on my nightstand and was musing over purchases last night.

I have a trip upcoming and I needed a swimsuit. I haven't spent $50.00 at once on myself in sooooooo long that it felt really strange! I can get everything else I need used, but just couldn't on the swimsuit. Mama needed some serious suck and tuck action!!!!

But I get it- - our choices can sometimes give much pause for ponder.

Joyce said...

Shannon, I knew you'd get me on this one!
DrammaMamma, I know I should check out resale shops more often, but I rarely buy clothes, so I tend to get that one really good thing that I know will work for a long time. Sort of a quality over quantity approach.