Charitable requests overwhelming

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DEAR SUN SPOTS: I love your column and read it faithfully every day.

I am wondering if you can find out how often the following organizations send appeals: American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, Lung Association and the Salvation Army.

If you respond to the appeals, you get several more through the year.

It turns me off, and I don’t feel like donating any more. Thank you. — No Name, Lewiston

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ANSWER: Sun Spots agrees with you. The requests for donations have become overwhelming. This is partly because research indicates that the “squeaky wheel” gets the grease.

Sun Spots cannot give you numbers on how many letters are sent out. For one thing, they vary. One person might receive one; another six. Even if there were a set number, charities are not going to reveal their mailing schedules to Sun Spots.

However, she has some suggestions for you. If you want to donate to one charity, include a note with your check that tells them two things:

1. You do not want to receive any more requests until (specify a time).

2. Request they not “sell” your name. It is common for nonprofits to sell their mailing lists to other nonprofits with similar missions. For example, if you donate to health causes, other health charities want your name.

Sun Spots no longer responds to postal mail requests and only donates online. When she does so, she specifies that she wants no U.S. mail. If they ignore her request, they get ditched for further donations.

Charities do not want to annoy you. If you make your preferences clear, most will accommodate them.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Where can I find Godiva chocolates? I love their raspberry-filled dark chocolate. I have been buying it at Barnes and Noble. Are there other options? — No Name, No Town

ANSWER: According to online posts, Barnes and Noble is one of the best options. Some upscale stores (Macy’s) also sell it. Target’s website indicates it is also a source, but again, you must head to Augusta (or Portland).

Another option is online. At godiva.com, they also have sales and offer free shipping under certain circumstances. You can call them at 1-800-946-3482.  

DEAR SUN SPOTS: The motor in my Pesco dehydrator just died. Where can I write to get just the motor part? I could get an entire new one, but it seems awfully wasteful. Thanks as awful. — No Name, No Town

ANSWER: Sun Spots would be very surprised if you could fix it even if you could find the parts. Most products today are “closed units” not meant for repair.

However, some are “refurbished” or repaired by the manufacturer. You can call Pesco (http://pescoinc.biz) 505-327-2222 to see if they can help.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: My wife has been knitting mittens, scarves and hats for kids in local schools. She has a Knit King (1980s model number KH 881) knitting machine that is on its last legs. I’m wondering if any reader out there has a used one that is in better shape.

She knits the items, and Amy Grumond of Lewiston picks them up and distributes them to local schools. She makes about 50 to 70 sets a year, but unless she can replace her old machine, she will have to give it up.

She retired in 1999 and has been doing this year-round ever since. She loves to do it, and it gives her a good pastime. — The Gunns in Greene, 946-5754

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to sunspots@sunjournal.com.

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