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I've got a weird phone call...
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amother




OP


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 1:10 am
Background: Our family is really struggling financially on a high level.
Being that we have a close family relative who is very well off and gives nice amounts to Tzedaka, especially to family members, I opened up to her and told her how much we're struggling.
Her response: Its important to talk things out, Whenever you need "a listening ear", you're welcome to call me!
A couple of days later she calls me back, with an amazing offer: Being that it's Chodesh Elul and a person should give tzedaka, I was thinking that "being that you're poor, you are probably not giving tzedaka so I'm willing to make a donation to an organization or someone- in your name"!!! You tell me where you'd like me to donate, and I'll give on your behalf..
(My response: No one is exempt from giving charity and we're giving our share too).
These statements hurt me very much. Am I too sensitive or was she insensitive?
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Aylat




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 1:12 am
She sounds clueless!
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amother




OP


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 1:15 am
Clueless how?
Not understanding our dilemma?
What I wanted from her with my call to her?
Not knowing what it means to be poor?
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amother




Khaki


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 1:19 am
She sounds stupid.
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Aylat




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 1:24 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Clueless how?
Not understanding our dilemma?
What I wanted from her with my call to her?
Not knowing what it means to be poor?


All of the above? I feel like it's the kind of situation where finally the penny will drop and she'll feel terrible about how she responded.
The only thing you can do is be more explicit with her: "Thanks for being a listening ear. I see you understand the situation. Would it be possible for you to give us a loan/tzedaka to help us out?" Not an easy thing to say.

A possible dan l'kaf zechut: her financial situation is not as good as it used to be/as it seems, and she is actually not able to help you out. She doesn't want to share that info, and is embarrassed that you are wondering why she isn't responding generously, and really wishes she were in a position to do so.
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Rappel




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 1:37 am
It sounds like she doesn't want to give money to you, but would like your friendship.

Maybe she feels you were only talking to her because she's rich, and she was hurt by that?

Either way, it sounds like your yeshuah is going to have to come from somewhere else.
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amother




OP


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 1:38 am
Thanks Ayalet for your response and input. I gives me a way to understand why she could have done that.
I was thinking of telling her, well I don't need the listening ear, I need actual help.
And Thanks but no Thanks for the Tzeduka sponsorship offer "in our name", You can actually give us that check.
I didn't feel gutsy anough to respond.
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Rappel




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 1:52 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thanks Ayalet for your response and input. I gives me a way to understand why she could have done that.
I was thinking of telling her, well I don't need the listening ear, I need actual help.
And Thanks but no Thanks for the Tzeduka sponsorship offer "in our name", You can actually give us that check.
I didn't feel gutsy anough to respond.


You sound very angry that she didn't give you money. Why is that?
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amother




OP


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 1:57 am
Not angry that she didn't help us out with money.
Angry at her stupid responses: offering listening ear and giving tzedukah on our behalf to someone.
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Aylat




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 2:00 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thanks Ayalet for your response and input. I gives me a way to understand why she could have done that.
I was thinking of telling her, well I don't need the listening ear, I need actual help.
And Thanks but no Thanks for the Tzeduka sponsorship offer "in our name", You can actually give us that check.
I didn't feel gutsy anough to respond.


You must have felt really stuck after those conversations - here you opened yourself up and made yourself vulnerable because you were feeling desperate, and this was the result Sad

As Rappel says, beH you will see your yeshua soon, from whichever other source it comes.
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Rappel




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 2:04 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Not angry that she didn't help us out with money.
Angry at her stupid responses: offering listening ear and giving tzedukah on our behalf to someone.


Aye. It sounds like she didn't want to give you an outright no.


Last edited by Rappel on Tue, Sep 10 2019, 9:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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gold2




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 2:10 am
It could be that she didn't want to make you into a charity case and just hand out money to you and wants you to feel like a giver. This way you can also feel like you are also able to give to others. Maybe she is secretly planning how to give you the money indirectly so you shouldn't' be embarrassed or ashamed.
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Squishy




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 3:17 am
Being practical, is there a way to use this offer to your benefit?

Can you have the money donated to a school that will reduce your obligation in turn? My DC's school had a program they called give or get. They would reduce tuition by the amount the parents raised. Those donating money got the tax write off.

I can think of many other examples in our community of this. I question the legality of these programs, so consult an attorney.

Atime's sister organization has directed donations. Community organizations have directed donations whereby they raise money for a particular individual.

Now, being emotional, it is painful to receive such a call. I am sorry your family member did this to you. This is one reason I hate donation cards. You giver feels virtuous and gets to signal they are virtuous by giving a donation, but maybe the recipient needs the money.
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flmommy




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 3:25 am
Yes she was clueless BUT it sounds like she was trying to do something nice. I think you should do what another poster said and call her back and suggest an organization that will somehow benefit you like your kids school.
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imasinger




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 3:47 am
Unless it's directly paying for your DC's tuition, I think the school donation idea might make things worse.

Because then the school might think you have wealthy relatives and can probably afford to pay more.

I second the motion to swallow your pride, and tell her, "listen, it is incredibly difficult for me to say this but things are so dire, I would greatly appreciate being the direct recipient of her tzedaka, unless you need the tax receipt or something. Are you comfortable doing that?"

At least that way you can understand her better.
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amother




Chocolate


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 3:57 am
Rappel wrote:
You sound very angry that she didn't give you money. Why is that?


Well.....because the op could really you the money.
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Squishy




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 4:00 am
imasinger wrote:
Unless it's directly paying for your DC's tuition, I think the school donation idea might make things worse.

Because then the school might think you have wealthy relatives and can probably afford to pay more.

I second the motion to swallow your pride, and tell her, "listen, it is incredibly difficult for me to say this but things are so dire, I would greatly appreciate being the direct recipient of her tzedaka, unless you need the tax receipt or something. Are you comfortable doing that?"

At least that way you can understand her better.


The schools will work with someone who raises money for them. It's all the same pot to the school. They don't care that they get the money through tuition or a donation.

If WR (wealthy relative) pays tuition, WR can't take the deduction. WR can take the deduction with a donation.

I don't see how having WR known to the schools could make things worse.
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amother




Olive


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 4:49 am
I've paid tuition for a relative and I'm not wealthy. I have to pay maaser so I called the school and said I want to give money toward my relative's tuition.

They were happy to accept it and deduct from the tuition bill and it was only helpful for my relative.
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mommy3b2c




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 4:59 am
She’s either an idiot or a mean person.
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watergirl




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 5:15 am
mommy3b2c wrote:
She’s either an idiot or a mean person.


She could be one or both of those.

She could also have her own stuff going on that OP does not know about. Maybe her finances have taken a turn that OP does not know about?
Maybe she is tired of people in the family knowing how she gives tzedakka to other family members and talking about it to each other? Maybe she feels like an ATM - could it be that OP is not the only one who called her in this way recently and she started to resent it?

I do want to think it was daft of this relative to call OP back with her offer. But I also think there is usually a reason when people behave in this kind of manner - not a kind reason or what most people would think is acceptable - but a reason.

OP, I am davening that your finances change and you will be on the other side of that phone call soon and be able to open your checkbook to those in need.
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