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A confession

I confess. I have spent about $80 at Wal-Mart in the last week. I honestly cannot remember the last time I spent money at Wal-Mart; I’m not even sure when the last time I walked in to a Walmart was. But, I’m in northwest Iowa, and Walmart has run the other stores (Kmart, Shopko, White Drug) out of town. On my first trip, I was accompanying a friend who needed (yes, needed) the audiobook of the new Harry Potter. The local bookstore was sold out of everything Harry Potter, so Walmart was the only local option. I bought sunscreen and deodorant. I should’ve gone to HyVee instead, but I was lazy. I’m ashamed.

Then, yesterday, I was in Wal-Mart because my brother insisted that we go there to buy a socket set because he knew they’d have it, and we desperately needed to fix the SeaDoo. While waiting in line to buy said socket set, I noticed the Walmart optical center and wandered over; I found they had the contacts I’d just paid through the roof to have overnighted to me from VisionDirect. I returned to the lake house to poll my friends about whether or not I could justify canceling my internet order and buying my contacts at Wal-Mart. Meggie, an alternative medicine student, checked, and sure enough, I was experiencing pretty nasty eye strain. Those of us at the house then decided it was ok for me to return to Wal-Mart and buy my contacts if I offset my indiscretion by donating to a worthy cause.

So, now I’m looking for somewhere to send my $70. That’s how much I saved by shopping at Wal-Mart, and since I was shopping there to get my contacts 2 days earlier, we decided I should donate the price difference. So, where should my $70 go? I suggested maybe the Michigan Democratic Party, but Meggie pointed out that charitable organizations are having some trouble this year because so many people are sending their charity dollars to campaign-related pots. The Dems will have to wait until fiscal 2008 to get any of my money, I guess. Where would my $70 be most useful and most likely to offset some of the damage I did by shopping at Wal-Mart? Here are some ideas, and I’m interested in your suggestions:

  • First Book – a nonprofit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books
  • Food Gatherers – exists to alleviate hunger and address its causes in our community by: reducing food waste through the rescue and distribution of perishable and non perishable food; coordinating with other hunger relief providers; educating the public about hunger; and developing new food resources.

Here’s an article from Money magazine that talks about the evil-not evil debate that’s in my head.

So, what do you think ?

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