The Holiday Spirit

***If you're in Hurricane Irene's path, please be safe and postpone any bad dates you have scheduled for this weekend.

Story Sent in by Marty:

One December evening, Ashley and I walked down a city block, browsing various boutiques. As we strolled, we passed a Salvation Army bell-ringer complete with a donation bucket.

Ashley stuck a folded bill into his collection bucket and I walked on. She remained behind, and I turned to look back at her. Her eyes went from me to the bucket, then she cleared her throat.

"What?" I asked.

She replied, "Um…" and pointed to the guy's bucket.

"What about it?"

"Aren't you going to…?"

"To what?"

She groaned and said, "You're not going to donate?"

"I hadn't planned on it. I give $50 a year to a charity on my birthday."

"Yeah, but this is just pocket change. You can't afford pocket change?"

I said, "I wasn't planning to donate," then, because we were in public and her voice was loud, I added, "Let's go."

She replied, "Don't you tell me, 'Let's go!' You can't afford pocket change? Seriously?"


"Then how were you going to pay for anything else tonight? Dinner and whatever else?"

"With the money I wouldn't be spending on donations."

She looked at me as if I was a monster and said, "Then you're going to dinner alone. It's the holidays. Children are starving! Give the man your pocket change."


She put up her hands and said, "Fine. Have a nice life, Uncle Scrooge."

She turned and walked away. I called after her, "I will, without you."

I then turned to the bucket man and gave him some cash. It was money I had planned to spend on the dinner out that it didn't look like I was going to have, after all.


  1. I don't donate to the Salvation Army because they don't show where the money goes. They are not required to since they are a religious organization, but insiders have claimed that the salaries of the leaders go into six figures :-/

    1. Actually that is incorrect. I work for The Salvation Army and have worked in the same building as our National Commander. He does not make a 6 figure salary. In fact, all Salvation Army Officers (pastors, leaders, anyone wearing black uniform with red trim) make what we loving call an "allowance" because it is not even enough to qualify as a real substantial salary. Officers, or leaders as you call them, do what they do as a ministry; a calling. So no one is making big bucks working for the Army.

      Plus, you might be shocked to know that the National Commander of The Salvation Army in the US actually lives in a condo complex in Alexandria, VA. He and his wife don't even live in a real house.

      As for the Army not showing where the money goes, that is not true either. Look at all of the disaster relief the Army has been a part of. Donations fund them. Donations buy the supplies that the Army gives to families in need.
      Locally, 100% of money donated to a Salvation Army church is used completely within the local community. It helps fund the programs the Army provides for helping people pay rent, utilities, seeking shelter, seeking help for substance abuse, everything.

      I don't know what 'insider' you talked to, but it wasn't one who actually knew anything about it.

      If you want to know anything else I would be happy to answer any other questions you may have about the Army.

  2. Sanctimonious little twerp. I was taught that donating was something you did privately if possible, so you're not showing off about it.

  3. Sounds like you both dodged a bullet. Congrats.

  4. I don't usually donate money to anyone on the street. I mean seriously, how do you know they're not gonna take your money to go buy a drink?

    But sometimes I'm a softy. Like when there was this guy in the subway singing about being alone in the world and miserable. Green Day much? I gave him a fiver.

    And if she has all that money to give to a probable con artist, the she can pay for dinner.

    Irene is coming tonight. BRING IT IRENE!

  5. Donations are NOT the sort of thing you can criticize others for, for not contributing.

  6. Donations are made when you have the funds to afford giving away what you don't need. I don't expect people living from paycheque to paycheque to hand over whatever they've got in their pockets to a random bell-ringer in the street.

    When I shop at Safeway, I have never once agreed to give $2 to this or that - If I wanted to donate, I would have found an organization I felt was deserving and sent them a cheque.

    My wife worked for a "charitable" organization for less than 3 hours before she quit. The fact of the matter was, less than $1 out of every $5 donated made it to the actual charity - the rest covered salaries, the cost for whatever little stuffed animal or token that you purchased in lieu of making an actual donation, and other miscellanea.

    When she heard that figure, she told the guy that she couldn't support their organization, and left. It's wonderful that people are trying, but with that kind of overhead... there has to be a better way.

  7. I volunteered at Salvation Army when I was a teen. They will never get my money or even my used items. They throw more in the trash than they sell, they refuse to lower prices for those that can't afford the price tags, and they prosecute those that steal from their dumpsters.

  8. Todd Bassett, took home $175,050 from the “CHARITABLE” organization's donations for the fiscal year ending in 2004. $175,050? That's ridiculous! I wonder how many Santa Claus buckets need to be filled to pay Mr. Bassett's extravagant salary? I wouldn't give a dime to the Salvation Army. just sayin.

  9. One of the most I hate is people acting all goodie goodie and guilt tripping u, forcing things on u, if u can donate u will..but she's obviously lacking brains


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Content Policy

A Bad Case of the Dates reserves the right to publish or not publish any submitted content at any time, and by submitting content to A Bad Case of the Dates, you retain original copyright, but are granting us the right to post, edit, and/or republish your content forever and in any media throughout the universe. If Zeta Reticulans come down from their home planet to harvest bad dating stories, you could become an intergalactic megastar. Go you!

A Bad Case of the Dates is not responsible for user comments. We also reserve the right to delete any comments at any time and for any reason. We're hoping to not have to, though.

Aching to reach us? abadcaseofthedates at gmail dot com.