AmazingRibs.com is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

2008-11-23 An Open Letter to Charities

Share on:
santa

This rant ran in the Chicago Tribune on the op-ed page on Sunday 2008-11-23

My wife and I try to give a reasonable portion of our income to charity. There are so many deserving and needy causes, but, alas, we cannot afford to help them all. So about a decade ago we made a list of those we admire most, decided how much we can afford to give, and in December, wrote checks to them all.

We have kept up the practice, and like any good budget, we try to stick to it. The charities we give to usually thank us with a nice letter, and, at the same time, try to squeeze more juice from the stone, a gesture we think of as a bit rude. If you give your child a cowboy hat and he asks for boots, and then a horse, you tell him “just say thank you, junior”.

But they kept on begging throughout the year, and then they sold our name to others who also put the touch on us. So a few years ago we wrote a form letter and enclosed it with our check.

Some of you may think we are heartless, but choices must be made. Some of you may think this is a good idea. If you do, feel free to copy this letter from the Tribune’s website.

Dear Charitable Organization:

Enclosed is our annual check. Please spend it wisely. We believe in your cause and we are pleased to support you and about 20 other carefully selected charities with a modest donation at the end of each year. That’s when we look at our financial condition most closely and decide what we can afford to give and to whom.

We hope you will use our gift wisely. We will continue to donate to your cause each year, but only under the following conditions. If you cannot adhere to these three simple rules, we will remove you from our gift list.

1) Please do not waste our donation by sending us multiple solicitations throughout the year. Especially the sales pitches with return address stickers and calendars enclosed or nickels glued to them. All that printing, collating, and postage is expensive. You are already on our list and you will get whatever we can afford after we pay our bills and share what’s left with other worthy causes. If you waste our money by begging us for more, you will get none.

2) Please do not call us on the phone. We consider this home invasion. Your call always is an interruption. As a matter of principle, we never respond to phone solicitations of any sort. We know most charities share info with other charities, and the last thing we want is for the word to get out that we are easy marks for phone calls. So just hang up before we do.

3) We know selling donor lists is an important source of revenue for many organizations, but you are not authorized to sell our name, address, phone number, email, or any other info about us. We consider this a breach of our our relationship with you, not to mention our privacy. We hate charities who kiss and tell. Besides, it is a waste of the other organizations’ money to solicit us. We know what we believe in and what we wish to support. We select the causes we support all by ourselves.

If you adhere to these terms you can count on us for a check every year as long as we have jobs. If you violate these terms, we will remove you from our list and make no further donations. So please take all the money from this check and put it to work on fixing the problems you are devoted to fixing and don’t waste it asking us for more.

Keep up the good work, Meathead

Published On: 9/2/2014 Last Modified: 4/19/2021

Share on:
  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.

 

High quality websites are expensive to run. If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and a lot of freebies!

Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for high quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 2,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club. But please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get MANY great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial, and help keep this site alive.


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

Moderators

  Max

Click for comments...

Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

 

Comprehensive Temperature Magnet With 80+ Important Temps

Amazingribs.com temperature magnet
Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.

Click here to order.


Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?


The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order directly and get an exclusive AmazingRibs.com deal



Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater


Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet’s Dual Tube Burners

3 burner gas grill

The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review


Blackstone Rangetop Combo: Griddle And Deep Fryer In One


The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, grilled cheese, and so much more. And why deep fry indoors when you can avoid the smell and mess by doing it outside!

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker


This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp’s dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’.

Click here to read our detailed review