Life Advice



Ask Amy: Proud papa wants to stop crop top

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I feel funny doing that, especially when it’s a religious organization.

Requests this year have tripled. It is obvious that my contact information has been shared with numerous organizations.

I will often request that my name be removed from these mailing lists, asking them not to share it. I’ve only had one organization contact me back that they will do so.

What are your thoughts?

– Fear of Being a Freeloader

Dear Fear: You have the right to use these things that are sent to you by organizations hoping to solicit a donation.


According to the Federal Trade Commission, these items are quite literally (and redundantly) “free gifts.” Even if you didn’t solicit or order these gifts, when they are sent to you, they belong to you.

Your guilt over using them “without paying for them” means that these campaigns work! But understand that if you use them (without donating), any recipient you send them to may also notice what organization generates these cards and address labels, essentially increasing their marketing reach.

I donate any unsolicited cards to my local library’s book sale, which sells them to raise money for literacy in my community. Facilities for elders will also take these donated cards for residents to use.

To eliminate these solicitations, contact individual charities, asking to be removed from their list and/or requesting that they not share your information.


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