However, I did not realize just how much junk mail my mother received on a daily basis. Now, all of it gets delivered to me. Besides the usual catalogs, store fliers, and credit card offers, my mother’s name apparently is entrenched in the databases of literally hundreds of non-profit organizations, all of which beg her for money on a regular basis.
Pretty much every organization that raises money for wounded veterans, police officers, and abandoned dogs has my mom on their mailing lists. And if you do a Google search for the phrase, “every disease known to mankind,” there is a charity associated with each and every one of those illnesses, and each and every one of those charities sends an urgent request for a donation to my mom every single month.
If my wife or I do not empty our mailbox each day, there will not be enough room to fit the next day’s mail. And I understand the lady who delivers our mail is just thrilled that an official probate Executor is on her route now, causing hundreds of pounds of extra letters, brochures, and catalogs to get loaded onto her truck each week.
So, many of these charitable fund-raising outfits received exactly 10 dollars from my mom once, back in, say, 1997. And since that time, the charities have spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars to send urgent letters every month to my mom, begging for more. Often they include little gifts, like a high quality pen inside the envelope. (I am, of course, using the definition of “high quality” that means: it will write for almost four minutes before it stops working.)
There are many fund-raising organizations that my mother never donated to. And yet they all have her in their databases, too. I suspect the business of selling mailing lists to charitable organizations generates more revenue than the entire automobile industry.
I have discovered that there are at least 47 different religious outfits named after St. Jude. He must be the patron saint of begging for donations. My wife informed me that St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes. Well, it certainly is a lost cause for these organizations to keep asking for money from a woman who died a year ago.
My new hobby these days is sending back donation forms with a note saying my mom passed away and please remove her from the mailing list. It takes up about an hour of my time each evening. I figure I have to do it, or else they’ll keep sending letters addressed to her for the next 50 years. That wouldn’t be fair to letter carriers. Someone will have to create a charity for postal workers who get injured lugging around so much junk mail. And, of course, each month they’ll have to send out urgent requests for donations.