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    orange's Avatar
    orange Posts: 1,364, Reputation: 197
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    #1

    Apr 3, 2006, 02:11 PM
    Giving donation items to friends
    My family and I have been moving around quite a bit in the last couple of months, and as a result I am going through all our belongings and donating the things we don't use to charity, or giving them to friends.

    I have one friend who feels it is her right to have first dibs on all the stuff we are giving away. A few weeks ago she came over for a visit and noticed I had all these boxes packed and ready to go to the Salvation Army. She insisted that I should let her go through the boxes before they were picked up. I let her, although I was a bit annoyed because everything was already all packed up nicely.

    This morning, I finished packing another set of boxes, including a box full of old VHS movies, which I especially wanted to donate to a youth drop-in center that has a TV and VCR in the lounge for their clients. Kids drop in to the center during the day to watch movies, which is better than them hanging out on the street.

    Anyway, my friend just happened to be walking by our place and saw the boxes out on the porch. She rang the doorbell and asked if she could go through the boxes once again. This time I told her I preferred she didn't, as someone from the youth agency was coming by soon to pick everything up, and I had especially promised the movies to them. Well she was hurt and upset by this. She said that because we are friends, I should be asking her if she wanted the movies first. I stood my ground and she went off in a huff, saying I was selfish and not a very good friend.

    So my question, is it really my obligation to give things to my friends first? My friend is not poor or needy, and I wanted these things to go to someone who could really use them.
    CaptainForest's Avatar
    CaptainForest Posts: 3,645, Reputation: 393
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    #2

    Apr 3, 2006, 02:21 PM
    Lol

    Chava, you friend seems to be the selfish one here.

    She is not entitled to all of your possessions.

    Now, if this was a possession that you somewhat acquired together as friends (perhaps on a trip or something), then maybe. But general stuff (movies), no way.

    If it was something that had some sort of meaning to her, then maybe you should ask her first. But again, movies?

    She is under the impression (as you said) that everything she is entitled to check out first, and she is not.

    And donating them to a youth centre is a great idea.

    When my family throws away or donates stuff, I look through it first usually. But that is more to see if anything has some sort of special meaning to me, rather than just wanting more stuff for myself. My mom donated some of our old books to someone years ago. However, I checked through it first and ended up keeping one of them (it was the first book I ever read on my own, and therefore, held some very fond memories for me).

    Getting back to the topic, she is not entitled to go through all of your stuff first.

    But perhaps if there are some stuff that you think she might want, perhaps set it aside and ask her if she wants them.

    I guess from her perspective she would like the first opportunity to get free stuff, rather than youths or someone else getting it.

    Geeze, I wrote a lot.
    orange's Avatar
    orange Posts: 1,364, Reputation: 197
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    #3

    Apr 3, 2006, 02:54 PM
    LOL thanks CaptainForest. You DID write a lot for you! But I really appreciate it. Actually my friend really made me feel bad and mean today. I'm glad to know that I'm not the selfish one here.

    Now what you were saying about going through your family's stuff... that's a little different. I'm a mom now, and if the kids wanted, I would let them go through everything and not be annoyed about it. And when they're older and on their own I will certainly give them first priority if I'm giving away things. They're my kids. But my friend is NOT a kid, and she's not my only friend, either.

    It's not so much that she wants the things, it's her attitude of entitlement that really bothers me. She has never once asked nicely if she could look through things. She just said, "Oh, give me the stuff you don't want!" in a demanding voice. I don't respond well to demands. :p
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,292, Reputation: 7691
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    #4

    Apr 3, 2006, 06:03 PM
    I will go slightly off subject here, except for items like the tapes to the place for children. Often if you don't mind a little work, have a yard sale instead and give all the money earned to the charity of your choice. Often esp if you live in a more up scale area, you will get more for your items than the charity will at a thrift store.

    As for your friend, I would say, it belongs to the charity, if you want something, you will have to donate money for it. Taking something already planned for a charity is like stealing from the charity. Opinion anyway. ( I have seen people going though the bins outside of charities where you leave stuff after hours, taking it, so sad)
    kp2171's Avatar
    kp2171 Posts: 5,320, Reputation: 1612
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    #5

    Apr 3, 2006, 06:36 PM
    She's completely out of line.

    You do not need to apologize for wanting to give to charitable organizations or those in need.

    If she presses you on this I'd say just that. Giving to charity is an honorable act, not to mention one some do for religious reasons, and some do even for tax breaks. Should she be allowed to rummage through your checkbook before you give money to such a cause?
    giggles's Avatar
    giggles Posts: 143, Reputation: 27
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    #6

    Apr 3, 2006, 06:51 PM
    Hi Chava,
    No, I don't think you are obliged to give to your friends first. Especially if you have shown her preference in the past (and you can use that line to her as well). In this case, you have made a choice to donate to a drop in centre; your friend should respect your wishes. Her getting personal about your choices in this manner, is very selfish indeed. I'm sure if you could be bothered to explain this (I don't think I would be to be honest!), she would be pretty embarrassed at her greediness.
    You have shown her generosity in the past with other things you no longer need, and she now seems to feel entitled to your old belongings. This is going a little far, in my opinion!
    If it bothers you, say it if you want to retain your friendship. Otherwise, say nothing but be prepared to lose a friend for her own petty reasons.
    Catseyes's Avatar
    Catseyes Posts: 51, Reputation: 5
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    #7

    Apr 4, 2006, 11:24 AM
    I also agree with the replies you already got.
    Until you give these things ( to somebody, or a charity ), they are still yours. So, YOU decide what you want to do with it.
    My opinion is that the kids at the youth center would appreciate those movies way more than a friend who would put them in her collection.

    To me, no, she has no right to claim she should be allowed to look first and take stuff.
    And, the fact that she says that you're are not a good friend makes me wonder about her own friendship motives and capabilities.
    orange's Avatar
    orange Posts: 1,364, Reputation: 197
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    #8

    Apr 4, 2006, 12:33 PM
    Thanks everyone for your responses! I'm so glad to know you are all in agreement. This "friend" often does other things which I don't like, and then tries to make me feel guilty when I protest. She's not speaking to me right now (because of the movies), and usually when that happens, I cave in after a while and we start speaking again. She has never made the first move as far as making up. Well, this time I'm going to let her make up with me, and if she doesn't, fine. I'm tired of her making me feel bad, especially right now when my life is pretty much upside down!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fr_Chuck
    As for your friend, I would say, it belongs to the charity, if you want something, you will have to donate money for it. Taking something already planned for a charity is like stealing from the charity. Personal opinion anyway.
    Oh that's an interesting opinion! I never thought of it that way, but I think I believe that too, because I felt that giving the movies to my friend would be the same as taking them away from the youth centre. As far as the yard sale goes, that is a good idea too, but I think we have to wait until it's warmer here. We still have snow on the ground... you guys are forgetting the barren wasteland I live in LOL. Actually it's not so bad, haha! But people do wait until at least May to have yard sales.

    Quote Originally Posted by kp2171
    if she presses you on this i'd say just that. giving to charity is an honorable act, not to mention one some do for religious reasons, and some do even for tax breaks. should she be allowed to rummage through your checkbook before you give money to such a cause?
    This is a good point as well! I never thought of it in terms of money or resources that could be going to a charity, thanks!

    Thanks also to you giggles and catseyes. I appreciate that so many people feel the same way about this. I was really starting to believe that I was selfish as she says.
    orange's Avatar
    orange Posts: 1,364, Reputation: 197
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    #9

    Apr 4, 2006, 12:40 PM
    OMG I have to share this with you guys!!

    Shaina, my 6 year old, just walked in the room and asked me what I was writing here. So I told her it was about Zoe wanting stuff from the boxes outside. So she said in a disgusted voice, "Why does Zoe want to steal from poor people?" Out of the mouth of babes! I never told her I thought it was stealing... she came up with that on her own. Maybe I should be asking her for advice, lol.
    kp2171's Avatar
    kp2171 Posts: 5,320, Reputation: 1612
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    #10

    Apr 4, 2006, 01:21 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by orange

    ... Maybe I should be asking her for advice, lol.

    Or let Zoe talk to her the next time she has pilfering hands.

    That is classic. The first of many, many funny lines you'll hear.
    s_cianci's Avatar
    s_cianci Posts: 5,473, Reputation: 760
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    #11

    Apr 8, 2006, 06:05 PM
    It's your perrogative to give your things to whomever you want. If this friend of yours asks for something that you wish to give to someone else, such as with the videos, then inform her that you're sorry but it's already been promised to someone else. If she can't understand that then she's the one who's selfish and not a very good friend.
    CaptainForest's Avatar
    CaptainForest Posts: 3,645, Reputation: 393
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    #12

    Apr 8, 2006, 09:41 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by orange
    "Why does Zoe want to steal from poor people?"

    Lol. That is funny.

    Kids do say the darndest things.
    JoeCanada76's Avatar
    JoeCanada76 Posts: 6,669, Reputation: 1707
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    #13

    Apr 8, 2006, 10:07 PM
    Orange, Did not read the other answers but I would have to say a BIG NO, there is no obligation for you to give things first to your friend when you already had other plans for it. It is very selfish and greedy of your friend to think of herself instead of all the kids and families that really need these donations.

    Joe
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,929, Reputation: 674
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    #14

    Apr 9, 2006, 05:20 AM
    HI,
    Is this friend really a "friend"?
    Real friends trust each other, have respect, caring and love for each other. They respect what each other says, can disagree, but don't really get mad over it.
    This "friend" doesn't seem to fit in this category!
    orange's Avatar
    orange Posts: 1,364, Reputation: 197
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    #15

    Apr 9, 2006, 11:18 AM
    Thanks again for all the great responses. There seems to be a real consensus on the forum that her behaviour was inappropriate and selfish, and I'm relieved about that. We haven't spoken since the "incident", and from past experience I know that she is waiting for me to contact her. Well, I'm not going to. The more I think about it the more I agree that she is not a very good friend, and I don't want to see her anymore.
    orange's Avatar
    orange Posts: 1,364, Reputation: 197
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    #16

    Apr 9, 2006, 11:24 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainForest
    lol. That is funny.

    Kids do say the darndest things.
    Yeah, Shaina and Levi are priceless. The other night we had a friend of Alex's mother over for dinner, and afterwards we decided to watch part of the Peer Gynt Suite (classical music / ballet), since she loves the Norweigan composer, Grieg. Afterwards I asked the children how they liked it, and Levi got mad and said, "Where were the vikings??" LOLLL. I'm not sure where he got that from but it was very funny.
    danagonzo's Avatar
    danagonzo Posts: 6, Reputation: 2
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    #17

    May 24, 2006, 12:52 PM
    It's your stuff and you have the right to do whatever you want with it, regardless of if you're giving it away or not. It still belongs to you until you give it away, therefore you have all the rights to it.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,267, Reputation: 5643
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    #18

    May 24, 2006, 02:53 PM
    I TOTALLY agree with every other answer posted to you, but I have one question, forgive me if I missed it. Is this friend needy? Does she go to Salvation Army for things that are needed and she cannot provide the support herself?

    If not go with what everyone else says!! If so, give her the option of picking out only what she needs prior to packing the stuff up so she will not have to pay for it. Otherwise she is the selfish one.
    orange's Avatar
    orange Posts: 1,364, Reputation: 197
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    #19

    May 24, 2006, 03:10 PM
    Thanks danagonzo and J_9. And J to answer your question, no, she is not needy. She owns a nice house and a car and the basement is chock full of stuff she never uses. She's kind of a pack rat, which I think is why she wants my stuff, too. And yeah, if she was in fact poor or needy, I would have no problem with her behaviour... in fact, I would offer things to her, as you mentioned. But she's definitely not in that category.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,267, Reputation: 5643
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    #20

    May 24, 2006, 03:48 PM
    Well, in that case I would go with "I sould love to pass this stuff down to you, but I feel it is important to give this to the people who really need it and can't afford it."

    But the garage sale was a good idea too. Split the stuff in half, sell some and give some away.

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