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Donate -- to Reduce Junk Mail*

We've written recently about the "Do Not Call" list, and the less-well-known-but-still-awesome concept of the "Do Not Knock" list.

But what about junk mail? We all still get it. In a world where many of us pay our bills "paperless"ly and your grandma can just PayPal you $5 for your birthday, junk mail is the only mail some people get. There are the innumerable "pre-approved" credit card offers, coupons for pool cleaning services (45 seconds on Google Earth would let you know I don't have a pool), and my personal favorite, the weekly letters -- from my current insurer -- telling me how much money I can save by switching car insurance providers. 

This post, though, was inspired by a piece of mail I received yesterday from a charity. You know, the kind you feel guilty calling "junk mail." Especially when you open the letters up just to remove the free return address labels without making a donation. I received an envelope from SmileTrain, a charity dedicated to correcting cleft palates on children. It looked like this one:

Smiletrain
Wait. You want me to give you money so you'll stop asking me for money? Could that work?

Kris from the Dummocrats blog sees this as a threat. And it appears that SmileTrain doesn't live up to its promises in any event, according to the American Institute of Philanthropy. To think I was seriously considering making a donation in return for a promise to stay out of my mailbox. What a sucker.

If you are interested in reducing junk mail legitimately, check out this page from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

* Headline should be read with the inflection/tone demonstrated by Jerry Seinfeld at the end of this clip.

Posted by Eric Lipman on September 22, 2010 at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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