Monday afternoon, I posted an ad on Craigslist NYC’s “Free” page, offering care packages of unused, unopened, full-size toiletries and personal items that food stamps don’t cover. I asked for a little info about them and their situation so I could put together a very suitable package.
Believe it or not, I’m very skeptical, and quite a few of the replies I got set off little warning bells. I can’t tell if I’m just being a paranoid Manhattanite or what, so here are the replies I got that I’m deciding amongst … I’ll probably update this post later tonight with more responses, so feel free to check back. I’ll be taking the post down soon – I don’t want to find myself with 25 deserving people/families and only enough for 4. Anyway, those labeled in Green are YES, Red are NO, and Orange are UNDECIDED.
“I am interesting the item I am a female 34 years old with 3 teenages age daughters .and one eldest son.”
I was quite excited about this one until I scrolled down and saw that it was sent from a T-Mobile Sidekick. I’ll probably give to her anyway because I totally get the need to be reachable when you have 4 teenagers, and T-Mobile is the cheapest service available.
“I am interested in your unused
Short but workable. She’s got a decent shot.. I am a mother of 2 boys 15 and 16 years old and could really use your products. please call me @ xxxxxxxx”.
“Before I tell you about myself I’d like to say this is a generous thing you are doing for people. Even if you dont give me a package I just want you to know GOD will bless you, if he hasn’t already. I’m 20, female, I live with my mother who’s 47. When you say background what would you like to know?”
I’m willing to overlook the god thing. This one will probably make the list, but might not get one immediately depending on my supplies.
“i can come pick up tonight if you still have.”
Judging from the name, the person is female – but she gave no information about her situation, e.g. does she have a family, is she of an age to need feminine products? Judging from her writing, her English is pretty good, so she must understand my request for basic details. Perhaps she’s just trolling for anything she can get for free? I’m not answering.
“Hi: I’d be interested in one… I currently live in the 30th Street shelter.. I am 39, male, 5ft 11… It’s just me. I definitely would appreciate the band-aids and excedrin… and everything you can spare.”
Well, shelters always specify “trial size items” when asking for donations, so I’m not sure what, if anything, to do with this one. First, the mention of height made me laugh – like, has this homeless man been hanging out on dating sites?? In any case, I’m a little confused and perhaps intrigued by someone living in a shelter who didn’t make a single spelling or grammar mistake, and left two spaces after the colon and the period.
“Married couple can us the products can I provide a UPS number for pick up no cost to you”
Um…how do you have access to a UPS account? Why are you looking on the NYC Free page if you’re not in NYC?
“I am a 42yo male, out of work for almost a year, and could use a .”
The simplicity of this makes me think that it was hard for him to ask. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it though. Hmm.
Decision made: yes.
“Are these care packages still available? We could use these at my non profit for the clients. Please let me know ok.”
Well, I like doing things my way rather than through a middleman, but I might keep her details handy – despite the collection of cheesy quotes in her auto-signature.
“Hi im a 25 yr old single mother and these things would really come in handy for me”
I mentioned in my post that I don’t have baby items, but I have a soft spot for single moms – not for any personal reasons, but most of the ones I’ve met do everything for their kids and nothing for themselves. I’d like to give her some things for herself because cheap crap from the dollar store often gives dandruff or just doesn’t clean.
“If this is a real offer I am in serious need of some help. I’m 21, female, and really broke. I’m working three jobs and can’t make my rent let alone buy toiletries. Please email me if you can help me.”
Yup, you’ve got it sweetheart. I worked 3-4 jobs my last two years in college, so I do indeed have a very personal soft spot for someone who works their butt off to maintain some independence. And who knows what her options are? I’d rather give her things than see her go to the dark side to make rent and keep her teeth clean.
Update: Will be meeting her tomorrow. We were supposed to meet up this morning, but one of her jobs is overnight infant care, and the baby was sick. Mm, I do not miss my graveyard shift days.
Any thoughts? Which would you accept, which would you decline? Help!
Filed under: Charity |