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The shame game 

To the editor,

Everyone sees the annual United Way campaign posters and bulletins all over the Metro area. The United Way is a valuable organization and always deserving of praise for the wonderful work it does for the

communities we live in. It is one of many deserving charities and that's my point. At my workplace, the United Way campaign has always been a competition to see who can raise the most. If you raise more than your co-workers, you get a prize!

Some might see this as a way to boost participation and perhaps it does. But I refuse to fall for the purpose behind the veil. It makes employers look good to publish how much they donated. I don't believe for one minute that they truly care about the unfortunate and underprivileged members of our society. If they did, they would be content simply with donating, period. No fanfare, no hoopla.

Employees who refuse the nauseatingly perky canvassers get a veiled "shame on you" attitude and they try to make you feel bad, in a passive-aggressive way, of course.

We need only be made aware of the campaign, then left to ourselves to decide to donate or not. Sometimes people have no extra cash or have already donated privately. The reasons are varied and usually legitimate, and yes, some people just don't want to give. That is their choice. We all have the right to say yes or no and don't need our employer to use guilt or pressure to force us to donate.

By Charitable But Not Competitive

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