Monday, June 9, 2008

A Dollar to the Olypics?!

So yesterday I was at Zellers because Jacob was buying some kitchen gadgets and whatnot (you know, the normal things that a 22 year old would buy from Zellers on a sunday afternoon) and when he paid for his items the girl at the cash register asked him if he wanted to donate a dollar to the olympics.
Now I know that the olympics can be a touchy subject, especially for us Canadians and even more expecially for us Vancouverites due to the winter olympics being held here in Vancouver in 2010, but I would like to explore this situation as I am not sure what to think. I encourage any sort of feedback that anybody might have in regards to this subject or in response to what I have to say. Perhaps somebody can elighten me and change my thoughts.
So back to this question of donating a dollar to the olympics... Now I understand that the olympics are a huge undertaking with a massive price tag and that any extra funds that can be collected will be a great help to pay off this price tag; however, as a tax payer I am already funding the olympics whether I like it or not, and if I decided not to donate money to the olympics then I'd still end up paying for it with my tax dollars. I guess what I'm saying is, if I am already giving money to the olympics through my tax dollars then why should I give more through donations?
Secondly, asking me if I want to donate money to the olympics is a very vague question. I mean sure the question is a simple yes or no question and the subject of the question is the olympics, but the olympics is where the vagueness comes in. If I donate money to the olympics, where exactly is that money going? Is it going towards the funds to pay for the building of the venues? Is it going towards paying for the judges or other special people that will be there? Or is my money going towards the athletes who not only have to be able to perform well and train hard, but also have to pay (what I can only imagine) a hefty registration fee not to mention transportation fees, and lodging fees of some sort. You see, I guess it's more the question that bugs me... If it was to donate a dollar to help the athletes in their fees then sure maybe I'd consider it. If it was to help in the special olympics I would also donate. However donating to the olympics in general leaves me feeling less like I am actually helping and more like I just paid an extra dollar in taxes. I have nothing against the olympics. I am not an olympics hater, I just don't have the money to throw around on something that I am already paying for.
I don't have a problem in donating money for the most part. I donate to charities, relief funds, Scouting or Girl Guides programs, Big Brothers Big Siters programs, homeless shelters, Children's programs of any type, etc etc. but I have a problem being asked to donate to something like the olympics.
Along the same lines, I sometimes hate how people ask whether or not you want to donate money, even when you know the money is for something like to find a cure for cancer; because sometimes they ask it in such a way that if you say no for one reason or another it makes you look like the biggest jerk in the world! For example, one night I had just paid over 14 dollars to see a movie (that turned out to be a dud) and the girl at the desk asked me "would you like to donate a dollar to help the poor starving children with autism in Africa who have aids and have been battered by their drunken father with cancer who also beats on his wife who has cystic fibrosis." Ok, so she didn't actually ask me that (in so many words) but had I said no, I would have looked like the biggest ass hole who ever lived.
I guess what it all boils down to is, yes I would love to donate money but I prefer to donate to organizations that are there to help the people who need it the most. Ask me about the special olympics and I'm there, because really these people have had to deal with so much in their lives already and it is so inspiring to see them not feeling sorry for themselves but actually pushing themselves to be the best athletes they can be given their circumstances.

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