Jerks & Irks XL: Thoughts & Prayers

I think it’s fitting that I ended up writing this post on America’s Memorial Day. A day where most people worry more about the weather’s effect on their weekend shore plans and BBQs than they do about the men and women who dedicate their lives for the freedom that affords us such “first world problems.”

That mini-rant aside, my issue today is with the social media phenomenon of “Thoughts and Prayers” whenever something tragic happens. Most recently the Oklahoma area devastated by tornadoes and, before that, the Boston Bombings. When events like these occur, whether man-made or nature-made, my Facebook & Twitter feeds become flooded with statuses and memes depicting people’s “Thoughts & Prayers.” Flags waving, dramatic shadows, lit candles. All these little pictures. For what?

And every single time, I’m irked. Because the people effected by these tragedies don’t need your thoughts and prayers (Not to mention they’re probably too busy picking up the pieces of their lives to login to Facebook and Twitter and catch a glimpse of your supposed “support”). No. These people need your blood donations. They need your unused clothing and appliances. They need your non-perishable food. They need your money. They need to rebuild and recover. And I’m sorry, but your thoughts and prayers really don’t help with that. You can post as many memes as you want, they don’t make you a better person than your friend, who didn’t post a damn thing. As far as I’m concerned, “Thoughts & Prayers” statuses aren’t any better than someone’s check-in at the local gym. Besides, for all you know, the people who haven’t publicly acknowledged the event might have donated anonymously and chosen not to broadcast it. (Likewise, the meme-posters may have donated something too, but we all know that’s not always the case either.)

So if you want to elevate your status as a gosh darn human being, here’s how. Visit this USA Today post, which lists several charities that are assisting with the rebuilding and recovery. There are several listed in one place, so you don’t even have to search around. Many of these organizations even offer a “Text to Donate” option. You can help while standing in line at Starbucks for heaven’s sake!

Also, in the spirit of Memorial Day, you can visit www.purpleheartpickup.org and schedule a morning for their volunteers to COME TO YOUR HOUSE and pick-up your gently used clothes and household items FROM THE CURB. So your lazy ass can sleep in AND help out!

So what are you waiting for? Be a gosh darn human being!

Jerks & Irks XXIV: Purple Heart Taking Some Heat

Apologies for my absence folks. I was, ahem, under the weather, all last week. And by under the weather, I mean I felt like a tornado raked me over. Then a monsoon drenched me. Then an earthquake cracked open the ground and swallowed me whole. I managed to crawl out of the muck yesterday and I feel much better now.

So back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Besides being irked by my overall state of general malaise, I was also annoyed by trying to do some good in the world. Observe:

During my illness, I scheduled a date for Purple Heart to drop by the house and pick up a nice little donation. When you’re confined to the house with minimal energy, it’s amazing the things you remember to do that had previously fallen by the wayside. So, anyway, months ago we received a flyer advertising their amazing service: put your donation at the curb, they pick it up, leave you a receipt. Bing, Bang, Boom, Done.

I already had some things put aside, so I scheduled the pick-up for this past Friday. They said the donation would be picked up around 7am, so I put out two bags of clothes and three boxes of books the night before. When I woke up at 8 the next day, my things were still there. No big deal. Then it started to rain. Like really rain. Remember that monsoon I referred to earlier? Yeah, it rained pretty hard. I watched from the bedroom window with clenched teeth as my donation was soaked through and through. I lost so much precious sleep. I bet I would’ve gotten better sooner had I been able to rest.

They said they would be there at 7am!

I think they came around late afternoon. 3pm maybe? They removed the books from the boxes and left the boxes strewn across the grass at the curb. Rude!

Then, when my husband came home from work to bring me some soup, mac-n-cheese, and goldfish crackers (Yes, Hubby-pants is awesome like that), he said they left the receipt in one of the wet cardboard boxes. Mind you, it’s a doorknob hanger of a receipt. As in, it has a hole in it to hang on the donor’s doorknob. So why was it left carelessly in the trashed boxes?

I went back to the website 24 hours later, looking for an actual receipt, one with an itemized list of what I donated. The website had a printed version of the doorknob hanger. What the frick, guys?

Next time I’ll just write a check to the Purple Heart. Donating sucked.

(For the record though, Purple Heart as an organization does plenty good. They resell the items you donate to thrift stores and the proceeds go to Veterans and their families. A noble cause. But, like I said, next time I’ll just write a check.)