My heart sank when I saw aproned volunteers from Helping Paws Animal Shelter collecting money outside Wal-Mart on Saturday. I was supposed to be collecting money for the 3-Day. And, I had about $1,050 left before I met my fundraising goal, so this was rather important.

I introduced myself to the volunteer at a door and signed in at the customer service desk. They said nothing about the double-booking, so I set up my little table and smiled as people walked by. I got some donations, but the Animal Paws ladies seemed to be attracting more attention. (sigh).

When there was a lull, the volunteer asked me if I was sure I had the right day. I assured her I did. I had rolled out of bed after attending Danielle’s wedding the night before - which was exactly what I knew I was in for when I had signed up with Wal-Mart weeks ago.

I was contemplating whether it would be rude to ask if she would mind concentrating on one Wal-Mart entrance so I could have the other to myself. People were getting confused as to whether we were with the same organization (obviously not), and I wasn’t sure it was right to hit up the same people twice for donations to different causes.

But another Helping Paws organizer came to the same conclusion before I worked up the nerve to say anything. When that volunteer’s shift was over, she didn’t assign a new volunteer to my door, but simply asked when I was going to be done. It seemed Helping Paws was standing outside doors at several Woodstock retailers that day and she didn’t think it was right to complain to Wal-Mart about the double-booking since they were so supportive in the first place.

I agreed. And I appreciated Helping Paws’ thoughtfulness.

In this bad economy, there are so many charities and good causes competing for a (perhaps dwindling) amount of donations that it would have been easy to be petty about the double-booking. I’m glad we could both be up-front and gracious about it with each other.

AND, I collected just over $250 in the 4.5 hours I was there, so all in all, it wasn't a bad afternoon.

Oh, and if you’re interested, you can donate to Helping Paws here.
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