Author Topic: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money  (Read 36158 times)

bb11

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #100 on: June 14, 2017, 04:28:34 PM »
Oh man. Where to start...

Senior year of college a "friend" (one of those college friends who drinks at your house and watches TV, but is not really particularly close) was too lazy to find a real spot so parked in a reserved spot at our apartment complex to hang out. It got towed and he needed $300 to get it back, but didn't have it. None of my roommates was volunteering so I offered to pay it, and he would just pay me back in two weeks. Never heard from him again. This was about 3 months before graduation so I actually never even saw him. Felt I got a bit of revenge in that I posted about the whole ordeal on Facebook (the only time I've ever posted about any personal drama), so all our friends ended up finding out about it, and few if any of them have talked to him since. It's like, really dude? Was it worth burning bridges with a dozen friends for $300? Terrible decision.

Shortly after college I was living with my dad (rent free to be fair, although i slept on a futon in the living room for two years), and he needed help with rent and leasing a new car. I loaned him $4,000 and got it back in a little over a year, although it impacted our relationship, and I vowed not to lend money to anyone again. In retrospect I may have been too hard on him, as the loan could have just been not paid back and used as my "rent". However he was very bad with money amongst other problems and making probably triple what I was at the time, plus I had students loans. I was bitter about it.

A couple years later dad was visiting Eastern Europe (where he lives now) and all his bank accounts got frozen I guess because it looked like fraud to the banks? Dad has been so bad with money that he's cut up all his credit cards, so this was a big crisis. I lent him $1,000 as this seemed like a real emergency, and he paid me back promptly after the trip was over. No interest charged.

Then last year mom got married and 48 hours before the wedding (she has no money and this wedding cost $30k, paid for mostly by her now husband) that some of the things she was obligated to pay for she couldn't afford. Can't disappoint mom on wedding night right? I lent her ~$4,000, and she's paying me back now (should take a year or so) with $1,000 interest. Interest is a bit high but IMO helps her feel accountable for the poor decision and keeps a similar payment from going to some sort of payday loan company or other backchannel. Of course I can't tell her husband about it, and he still doesn't know that I paid for much of "her portion" of the wedding.

So... I believe in not lending money to friends/family, but it's hard to practice it? I definitely wouldn't lend to an acquaintance, and only someone "attached" to me when I think they absolutely need it and are willing to sign a contract with interest.

I have also gotten the diapers scam. Guy on the street says he has a new baby and it's hungry and needs formula from the corner bodega. I agree and start walking with him. As we're walking I ask him how much it is: $14. I stop dead in my tracks and say no. He then asks if I can give anything and I suppose I let him win, I gave him $3 from my wallet. Found out later that the whole thing is a popular scam. Sad, but it'd be really hard for me to envision helping someone on the street at all now.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 05:03:13 PM by bb11 »

bb11

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #101 on: June 14, 2017, 04:37:33 PM »
Money for booze and hookers, requested by my brother who'd run his SSI card dry mid-month. He said he did that every month, then stole stuff the rest of the month to get by. I asked him, well what about next month? What about this cycle you're asking me to support? He said blankly, "What cycle?". Er...no, just no.

Sheesh. That may be the saddest one in the thread.

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #102 on: June 15, 2017, 09:12:03 AM »
Former friend asked me to loan him $1200.  This, when I was a part timer making $9.50/hour.  I still had a healthy savings account.  He was full-time, making at least $45,000/yr, and so did his wife.  He needed help paying his mortgage, because apparently he'd been paying his mother's mortgage.  He promised to pay me back within two weeks when his 401k loan came in, and I agreed.  To his credit, I did get paid back promptly, however... I handed him the check and he immediately invited me to go out for Chinese food with his family... his treat.  (I know for a fact that if his family would stop eating out, they could have easily paid their mortgage.  Think 4 people eating out at least twice a day, quite often three times with extra gas station snack runs thrown in there.)

...I decided to never lend him money again.

RosieTR

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Borrow Money
« Reply #103 on: June 15, 2017, 09:24:07 PM »
This one wasnt from me(my sister knows better) but my sister asked my parents and my grandma for money for gas to get to a town an hour away because she claimed her husbands dad was in the hospital because he had a heart attack. Found out the next day that they got money from both my parents and my grandma and his dad was not in the hospital and had not had a heart attack.

This sounds exactly like something my brother would do. People might think I'm a jerk because I will let him sell plasma if he needs the gas $ to drive to my parents' house, but if he ever asks for money you have no idea if it's going straight to the Budweiser Corp or what.
I will say the best $3 I ever spent was when he asked to borrow money for cigarettes. I said I'd lend him the $3 but if he never paid me back, I would never lend him any money again. That was a worthwhile investment, as it was about 18 years ago and he has never asked for $ since! At one point, a bailbondsman or whoever showed up at my parents' house looking for him, and said that someone had put up their house as collateral for his bond. Those poor, poor people. I hope they didn't lose their house but I wouldn't bail my brother out for $5, and neither would anyone else in the family.

The best comeback I've had to people asking for $ was once when I was in a store parking lot, a woman came up with some sob story about needing to get a taxi to the airport because her boyfriend had ditched her with no way to get there and she had all but the $7 it cost. Could I give her $7? I happily explained that a public bus went right to the airport from a bus stop very close to the store, which meant she could already get to the airport as well as probably get a snack there with the leftover money she'd already collected! I knew this was true because I had TAKEN that bus to the airport before, and knew how much bus fare vs taxi fare was to the airport from there. I'm sure the money was going for drugs or some such. Maybe she was being trafficked or whatever which is a shame, but the story was bullshit. If she were truly desperate, she'd have been thankful for the suggestion.

TartanTallulah

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #104 on: June 16, 2017, 08:20:54 AM »
Not me, but ... a lifelong close friend of my mother's was married to a man who might have had a nice stable career in middle management if he'd had any insight into his own intellectual ability and business sense, but who dared to dream of greater things. They lived high and boasted higher. He was going to go far and he didn't care whose body he walked over to get there. He left his middle management post in an agricultural supplies company in his early forties to set up a business in direct competition with his former employer. Then one day he rolled up at my door, invited himself in, announced that he was now a financial advisor, and tried to sell us products. I was pissed that I'd come home from work to find his Jaguar occupying our entire driveway (which had room for four cars, but he'd done the parking equivalent of manspreading) and sent him packing. Besides, he and his wife had two timeshares. Even in the early 1990s, I wasn't going to take financial advice from someone who had timeshares and tried to pretend they were a good investment.

I heard later that he'd left the finance firm and become an independent financial advisor. And then my mother 'phoned me in horror telling me that when they'd met he'd taken my father, who had just retired, aside and asked, man to man, for a loan to invest in his company. Something about broadening the scope of products he could offer clients, apparently. Dad, whose attitude to money is that you do a job, take your pay, hand it over to your wife, and are given some pocket money, actually thought it was a joke and came back with a wisecrack. Next time, he took my mother aside. Having also been on the receiving end of his attempts to sell financial products, and being quite financially astute, Mum took great delight in saying that she was terribly sorry, all their money was tied up in long term savings and investments.

We learned later that by this point he was pretending to go out to work but didn't actually have a job any more, and was borrowing to maintain the façade. He had borrowed from his sister, people he played golf with, his own son, and his daughter-in-law's family. He was counting on an inheritance from his wife's mother solving all his problems. The old lady outlived him by a few months and his widow was able to use the inheritance to pay back these loans and start to scrape her life back together after being left dependent on the goodwill of her children.

Sad, but at the same time almost karmic.


Freedomin5

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Borrow Money
« Reply #105 on: June 16, 2017, 08:26:33 AM »
The best comeback I've had to people asking for $ was once when I was in a store parking lot, a woman came up with some sob story about needing to get a taxi to the airport because her boyfriend had ditched her with no way to get there and she had all but the $7 it cost. Could I give her $7? I happily explained that a public bus went right to the airport from a bus stop very close to the store, which meant she could already get to the airport as well as probably get a snack there with the leftover money she'd already collected! I knew this was true because I had TAKEN that bus to the airport before, and knew how much bus fare vs taxi fare was to the airport from there. I'm sure the money was going for drugs or some such. Maybe she was being trafficked or whatever which is a shame, but the story was bullshit. If she were truly desperate, she'd have been thankful for the suggestion.

I have a similar story. I was walking downtown when a man approached me asking for $2 for bus fare. I pulled out my wallet and handed him a bus token. He looked at it and asked, "What is this?" I replied, "It's a bus token. You put it in the fare box, and the bus driver lets you ride the bus." Then I walked away.

druth

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #106 on: July 05, 2017, 04:29:47 PM »
The best comeback I've had to people asking for $ was once when I was in a store parking lot, a woman came up with some sob story about needing to get a taxi to the airport because her boyfriend had ditched her with no way to get there and she had all but the $7 it cost. Could I give her $7? I happily explained that a public bus went right to the airport from a bus stop very close to the store, which meant she could already get to the airport as well as probably get a snack there with the leftover money she'd already collected! I knew this was true because I had TAKEN that bus to the airport before, and knew how much bus fare vs taxi fare was to the airport from there. I'm sure the money was going for drugs or some such. Maybe she was being trafficked or whatever which is a shame, but the story was bullshit. If she were truly desperate, she'd have been thankful for the suggestion.

I have a similar story. I was walking downtown when a man approached me asking for $2 for bus fare. I pulled out my wallet and handed him a bus token. He looked at it and asked, "What is this?" I replied, "It's a bus token. You put it in the fare box, and the bus driver lets you ride the bus." Then I walked away.

We have the electronic cards that you scan to get on the bus.  I always offer to wait with them and scan them onto the bus, but as of yet, nobody has taken me up on my offer.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Kaydedid

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #107 on: July 05, 2017, 10:08:49 PM »
Money for a down payment on a condo, because a relative never trained their aggressive dog and no landlord will take them.

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Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #108 on: July 07, 2017, 05:25:28 AM »
Money for a down payment on a condo, because a relative never trained their aggressive dog and no landlord will take them.

As in "I'm not responsible enough to train my pet or save my own money but you can trust me to be a responsible custodian for thousands of dollars"

economista

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #109 on: July 07, 2017, 08:06:01 AM »
The best comeback I've had to people asking for $ was once when I was in a store parking lot, a woman came up with some sob story about needing to get a taxi to the airport because her boyfriend had ditched her with no way to get there and she had all but the $7 it cost. Could I give her $7? I happily explained that a public bus went right to the airport from a bus stop very close to the store, which meant she could already get to the airport as well as probably get a snack there with the leftover money she'd already collected! I knew this was true because I had TAKEN that bus to the airport before, and knew how much bus fare vs taxi fare was to the airport from there. I'm sure the money was going for drugs or some such. Maybe she was being trafficked or whatever which is a shame, but the story was bullshit. If she were truly desperate, she'd have been thankful for the suggestion.

I have a similar story. I was walking downtown when a man approached me asking for $2 for bus fare. I pulled out my wallet and handed him a bus token. He looked at it and asked, "What is this?" I replied, "It's a bus token. You put it in the fare box, and the bus driver lets you ride the bus." Then I walked away.

We have the electronic cards that you scan to get on the bus.  I always offer to wait with them and scan them onto the bus, but as of yet, nobody has taken me up on my offer.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

A few weeks ago I was getting gas and a lady pulled up at the pump next to me but instead of getting out of her car she rolled down the window and said she needed gas to get home and could I please give her a few dollars.  I said no, I didn't have any cash, and her reply was "well you could always use your card to fill me up."  I was so taken aback I didn't even know what to say!  I just shook my head and she sat there for a second looking angry, and then drove off!  Since she was willing to have me put the gas directly in her car I guess she did need gas, but if you need gas why would you drive off again, instead of staying and either calling someone to come help you, or asking other people?  This is why 99% of the time I only get gas at Costco - I've never been asked for money while at Costco.  Unfortunately that week was out of the ordinary and I got a bit off schedule, so I needed gas when it wasn't a Costco day.

Later I actually felt bad about not helping her, but my SO helped put it into perspective and pointed out that her lack of planning did not mean that it was a complete stranger's problem to deal with.

Kaydedid

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #110 on: July 07, 2017, 08:38:50 AM »
Money for a down payment on a condo, because a relative never trained their aggressive dog and no landlord will take them.

As in "I'm not responsible enough to train my pet or save my own money but you can trust me to be a responsible custodian for thousands of dollars"
Bingo, along with an unhealthy dose of "you have something I don't [because we worked and saved], so you owe me."

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onehair

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #111 on: September 28, 2017, 01:02:37 PM »
Recently I ran into a situation like that. For sending money to people I despise Western Union with a passion.  A friend of a friend was asked to come down to help her with some housework due to her bad hip.  He promised to come provided he was sent $20 via Western Union.  She asked me to do it since we're friends of long standing and she has never ever failed to repay me when money changes hands between us alone.  This particular friend of a friend is known to be unreliable and seems to use Western Union as his only way to obtain funds.  Presently he's in a shelter due to his own stupidity (long story).  So for her I went after work to the nearest Western Union sent the $20 and told him point blank I despise him and was only doing it for her due to our long friendship.  Not surprisingly he never showed up, she reimbursed me out of guilt for his wrongdoind though I am still irritated on general principle.


Hargrove

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #112 on: September 28, 2017, 01:21:16 PM »
Recently I ran into a situation like that. For sending money to people I despise Western Union with a passion.  A friend of a friend was asked to come down to help her with some housework due to her bad hip.  He promised to come provided he was sent $20 via Western Union.  She asked me to do it since we're friends of long standing and she has never ever failed to repay me when money changes hands between us alone.  This particular friend of a friend is known to be unreliable and seems to use Western Union as his only way to obtain funds.  Presently he's in a shelter due to his own stupidity (long story).  So for her I went after work to the nearest Western Union sent the $20 and told him point blank I despise him and was only doing it for her due to our long friendship.  Not surprisingly he never showed up, she reimbursed me out of guilt for his wrongdoind though I am still irritated on general principle.

You threw out $20 of a friend's money in order to secure an opportunity to be hostile to a homeless person?

onehair

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #113 on: September 28, 2017, 01:31:03 PM »
I am not hostile because he's homeless.  I am hostile to this one only because of the way he lives his life.  The friend in question offered for him to come stay with her while he gets his act together.  That offer he promised he'd take her up on yet has not shown up to the house.  I also do not like seeing her hurt due to his being unable to keep his word yet again.

Loren Ver

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #114 on: September 30, 2017, 03:23:10 AM »
PTF.

I've been lucky and blessed. My minor contribution.
When dating my now DH, we were in college and found an item he wanted to get for his aunt (Disney snow globe, expensive for college kids). His debit card didn't work, so I paid for it. I figured it was a good test to see if he was trust worthy. Paid me back the next day. 17 years later, the aunt still loves that globe.
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talltexan

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #115 on: October 02, 2017, 09:08:21 AM »
My gf's car window got smashed, and someone grabbed my backpack--which contained my laptop--out of it. My gf insisted that she buy me a replacement, so I set aside the money she spent as a CD with my own bank in case we ever broke up. It didn't work; we're married now.

I have no idea what a break up with an asset like that would even look like.

MgoSam

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #116 on: October 02, 2017, 11:25:18 AM »
I still remember when I was in 5th grade a classmate borrowed $1 to buy something during a field trip. He promised to pay me back the next day and for the next year kept making excuses. At one point he mentioned that his mom was "sick," as a reason not to pay back the $1. I kept hounded him not for the dollar, but just to see how he would react.

Carless

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #117 on: October 02, 2017, 11:56:59 AM »
Sounds like pretty cheap entertainment

coldestcat

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #118 on: October 05, 2017, 12:48:14 PM »
I lent my friend $200 some years ago and he did not like having to pay me back but I kept hounding him on it until I got it. He borrowed money from other people and even did payday loans after that but never asked me for money since I was so aggressive with getting my money back after he didnt pay me when he said he would.

My wife has "lent" her brother or other family members money in the past but she says she would never ask for it back because she knows they wont try to pay her back very quickly if at all. This also means no one has asked for money in a long time so I think we've set ourselves up well according to the "Bronx tale" theory.

I appreciated the most from this thread, reading the line "My money is tied up in investments and long-term savings" because it is not a lie, not judgey, and also a small glimpse into how you are living, should the borrower ever feel like asking how to save and replicate MMM ideas.

Goldielocks

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #119 on: October 05, 2017, 01:12:27 PM »
I remembered one.   A woman at our church asked for donations for her "mission" trip to Africa.     

It was really a safari trip for her plus maybe 6 days in Uganda with one of the missionaries who is a son of another member in the congregation.   This mission is ok, but more because it is set up as a working locally run co-op business where the organizer only takes living expenses and modest stipend, and does not help a lot of people because of the nature of it.  i.e., it is not registered or funded as a charity in any way, and there would be nothing for her to do other than tour it and learn about it.

I think she heard rumours that a mission trip can generate a lot of donations to offset your costs, and she jumped on it.  Our church body does not tend to send any people to start missions anywhere.

A relative badmouthed about it behind her back, "she wants us to fund her personal trip"... it got back to her and caused a big flare up.   But the next thing I know is that she stopped asking for money.  She gets back in two weeks, so I hope to find out how it went and if she got off the tourist track.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #120 on: October 05, 2017, 01:44:42 PM »
I remembered one.   A woman at our church asked for donations for her "mission" trip to Africa.     

It was really a safari trip for her plus maybe 6 days in Uganda with one of the missionaries who is a son of another member in the congregation.   This mission is ok, but more because it is set up as a working locally run co-op business where the organizer only takes living expenses and modest stipend, and does not help a lot of people because of the nature of it.  i.e., it is not registered or funded as a charity in any way, and there would be nothing for her to do other than tour it and learn about it.

I think she heard rumours that a mission trip can generate a lot of donations to offset your costs, and she jumped on it.  Our church body does not tend to send any people to start missions anywhere.

A relative badmouthed about it behind her back, "she wants us to fund her personal trip"... it got back to her and caused a big flare up.   But the next thing I know is that she stopped asking for money.  She gets back in two weeks, so I hope to find out how it went and if she got off the tourist track.

Ah, the miracle of the mission-cation. Disaster relief tourism is also popular. I frequently badmouth such operations, but I do it to the face of the people involved just so I can see their reactions.

Not all disaster relief travel is stupid. I've got a cousin with a doctorate in nursing who does relief missions: on her vacation time, she piggybacks on MSF operations and through her church. She's got the credentials to actually educate the people she meets and routinely sets up nurse training while she's in-country and converts illiterate field hands into competent hospital staff. She's a hardcore badass and I salute her for it often. But she also doesn't solicit for donations to fund that work, because she's got funding out the wazoo already. That's not what I mean by relief tourism. I mean the stuff like in this following anecdote.

Some years ago, following a big disaster in the Philippines, I got hit up by a daughter of a family friend (our families are still friends... kind of...) for a donation to send her and some other young volunteers from her church group to Manila to help with a rescue operation. Now these are high school and college aged students with big hearts but not a lot of skill at logistics. So I put a velvet glove on my scythe and went Socratic. The conversation went roughly like this.

Me: So, they need to rebuild roads, bridges, houses and such. Are you a civil engineer?

Kid: No.

Me: Plumber? Electrician? Even a first-year apprentice could do some useful work getting power and plumbing back on-line.

Kid: No.

Me: OK, do you have a background in construction? Can you drive a forklift, maybe, or operate a bulldozer to help get the roads open?

Kid: No.

Me: All right, maybe you can work in the hospital. You're too young to be a medical doctor, but do you have nursing credentials? A bit of clinical study, maybe?

Kid: No.

Me: Do you know any Tagalog? Like if someone came up to you and said (here I inserted a Tagalog phrase meaning "I need a drink of water"), could you tell what that person was trying to say?

Kid: No. What's Tagalog?

Me: It's the local language. Very few of the people you're trying to help speak English.

A few other questions established that none of the other young people going on the mission had the credentials I was asking about either. So I told the kid that as much as I respected her desire to help, I couldn't support the plan in its current form because it would do more harm than good. In a disaster zone they'd be unable to do anything really useful that the locals couldn't do better, and in the meantime they'd be in the way, vulnerable to danger, and consuming food and housing resources that could instead be given to local people who had lost their homes. But if they were willing to collect for a real and experienced relief group like MSF or the Red Cross, I'd be willing to donate (and I said a number that, for me, was a sizable but affordable amount). Sometime later I heard from the parents that the trip had been cancelled. They never did collect for a real relief group, so I ended up donating elsewhere.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #121 on: October 05, 2017, 02:25:10 PM »
I remembered one.   A woman at our church asked for donations for her "mission" trip to Africa.     

It was really a safari trip for her plus maybe 6 days in Uganda with one of the missionaries who is a son of another member in the congregation.   This mission is ok, but more because it is set up as a working locally run co-op business where the organizer only takes living expenses and modest stipend, and does not help a lot of people because of the nature of it.  i.e., it is not registered or funded as a charity in any way, and there would be nothing for her to do other than tour it and learn about it.

I think she heard rumours that a mission trip can generate a lot of donations to offset your costs, and she jumped on it.  Our church body does not tend to send any people to start missions anywhere.

A relative badmouthed about it behind her back, "she wants us to fund her personal trip"... it got back to her and caused a big flare up.   But the next thing I know is that she stopped asking for money.  She gets back in two weeks, so I hope to find out how it went and if she got off the tourist track.

Ah, the miracle of the mission-cation. Disaster relief tourism is also popular. I frequently badmouth such operations, but I do it to the face of the people involved just so I can see their reactions.

Not all disaster relief travel is stupid. I've got a cousin with a doctorate in nursing who does relief missions: on her vacation time, she piggybacks on MSF operations and through her church. She's got the credentials to actually educate the people she meets and routinely sets up nurse training while she's in-country and converts illiterate field hands into competent hospital staff. She's a hardcore badass and I salute her for it often. But she also doesn't solicit for donations to fund that work, because she's got funding out the wazoo already. That's not what I mean by relief tourism. I mean the stuff like in this following anecdote.

Some years ago, following a big disaster in the Philippines, I got hit up by a daughter of a family friend (our families are still friends... kind of...) for a donation to send her and some other young volunteers from her church group to Manila to help with a rescue operation. Now these are high school and college aged students with big hearts but not a lot of skill at logistics. So I put a velvet glove on my scythe and went Socratic. The conversation went roughly like this.

Me: So, they need to rebuild roads, bridges, houses and such. Are you a civil engineer?

Kid: No.

Me: Plumber? Electrician? Even a first-year apprentice could do some useful work getting power and plumbing back on-line.

Kid: No.

Me: OK, do you have a background in construction? Can you drive a forklift, maybe, or operate a bulldozer to help get the roads open?

Kid: No.

Me: All right, maybe you can work in the hospital. You're too young to be a medical doctor, but do you have nursing credentials? A bit of clinical study, maybe?

Kid: No.

Me: Do you know any Tagalog? Like if someone came up to you and said (here I inserted a Tagalog phrase meaning "I need a drink of water"), could you tell what that person was trying to say?

Kid: No. What's Tagalog?

Me: It's the local language. Very few of the people you're trying to help speak English.

A few other questions established that none of the other young people going on the mission had the credentials I was asking about either. So I told the kid that as much as I respected her desire to help, I couldn't support the plan in its current form because it would do more harm than good. In a disaster zone they'd be unable to do anything really useful that the locals couldn't do better, and in the meantime they'd be in the way, vulnerable to danger, and consuming food and housing resources that could instead be given to local people who had lost their homes. But if they were willing to collect for a real and experienced relief group like MSF or the Red Cross, I'd be willing to donate (and I said a number that, for me, was a sizable but affordable amount). Sometime later I heard from the parents that the trip had been cancelled. They never did collect for a real relief group, so I ended up donating elsewhere.

My honest, uncensored opinion is that some people go on mission trips as glorified vacations. It's especially telling when they don't even know any of the local languages of the places they are traveling to and have no useful skills to help anyone. Their only useful skill is posting selfies and photos of their trip on Facebook.

LiveLean

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #122 on: October 05, 2017, 02:25:31 PM »

Our Costco is in a good area, but the panhandlers must go out of there way to show up there. The worst one, though, was when I was putting my groceries away once and a Tahoe pulls up. Two girls in their twenties. Driver rolls down the window, says she needs money for gas. Both she and her friend are drinking out of soda cups from Chipotle. I could smell the burritos, too.

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #123 on: October 05, 2017, 03:24:08 PM »

Ah, the miracle of the mission-cation. Disaster relief tourism is also popular. I frequently badmouth such operations, but I do it to the face of the people involved just so I can see their reactions.

...

My honest, uncensored opinion is that some people go on mission trips as glorified vacations. It's especially telling when they don't even know any of the local languages of the places they are traveling to and have no useful skills to help anyone. Their only useful skill is posting selfies and photos of their trip on Facebook.

TGS: love the use of Tagalog in your story.

Can I add in that I also hate people who want others to pay for their "experiences".  As in: sponsor me to do a parachute jump on behalf of X charity.  Or run a Marathon on behalf of Y charity (you are more likely to get a place in the fashionable marathons if you are "running for charity").   Or sponsor me to save turtles on this tropical island.

Give me a break.

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #124 on: October 05, 2017, 03:41:56 PM »
I remembered one.   A woman at our church asked for donations for her "mission" trip to Africa.     

It was really a safari trip for her plus maybe 6 days in Uganda with one of the missionaries who is a son of another member in the congregation.   This mission is ok, but more because it is set up as a working locally run co-op business where the organizer only takes living expenses and modest stipend, and does not help a lot of people because of the nature of it.  i.e., it is not registered or funded as a charity in any way, and there would be nothing for her to do other than tour it and learn about it.

I think she heard rumours that a mission trip can generate a lot of donations to offset your costs, and she jumped on it.  Our church body does not tend to send any people to start missions anywhere.

A relative badmouthed about it behind her back, "she wants us to fund her personal trip"... it got back to her and caused a big flare up.   But the next thing I know is that she stopped asking for money.  She gets back in two weeks, so I hope to find out how it went and if she got off the tourist track.

Ah, the miracle of the mission-cation. Disaster relief tourism is also popular. I frequently badmouth such operations, but I do it to the face of the people involved just so I can see their reactions.

Not all disaster relief travel is stupid. I've got a cousin with a doctorate in nursing who does relief missions: on her vacation time, she piggybacks on MSF operations and through her church. She's got the credentials to actually educate the people she meets and routinely sets up nurse training while she's in-country and converts illiterate field hands into competent hospital staff. She's a hardcore badass and I salute her for it often. But she also doesn't solicit for donations to fund that work, because she's got funding out the wazoo already. That's not what I mean by relief tourism. I mean the stuff like in this following anecdote.

Some years ago, following a big disaster in the Philippines, I got hit up by a daughter of a family friend (our families are still friends... kind of...) for a donation to send her and some other young volunteers from her church group to Manila to help with a rescue operation. Now these are high school and college aged students with big hearts but not a lot of skill at logistics. So I put a velvet glove on my scythe and went Socratic. The conversation went roughly like this.

Me: So, they need to rebuild roads, bridges, houses and such. Are you a civil engineer?

Kid: No.

Me: Plumber? Electrician? Even a first-year apprentice could do some useful work getting power and plumbing back on-line.

Kid: No.

Me: OK, do you have a background in construction? Can you drive a forklift, maybe, or operate a bulldozer to help get the roads open?

Kid: No.

Me: All right, maybe you can work in the hospital. You're too young to be a medical doctor, but do you have nursing credentials? A bit of clinical study, maybe?

Kid: No.

Me: Do you know any Tagalog? Like if someone came up to you and said (here I inserted a Tagalog phrase meaning "I need a drink of water"), could you tell what that person was trying to say?

Kid: No. What's Tagalog?

Me: It's the local language. Very few of the people you're trying to help speak English.

A few other questions established that none of the other young people going on the mission had the credentials I was asking about either. So I told the kid that as much as I respected her desire to help, I couldn't support the plan in its current form because it would do more harm than good. In a disaster zone they'd be unable to do anything really useful that the locals couldn't do better, and in the meantime they'd be in the way, vulnerable to danger, and consuming food and housing resources that could instead be given to local people who had lost their homes. But if they were willing to collect for a real and experienced relief group like MSF or the Red Cross, I'd be willing to donate (and I said a number that, for me, was a sizable but affordable amount). Sometime later I heard from the parents that the trip had been cancelled. They never did collect for a real relief group, so I ended up donating elsewhere.

My honest, uncensored opinion is that some people go on mission trips as glorified vacations. It's especially telling when they don't even know any of the local languages of the places they are traveling to and have no useful completely useless skills to help anyone. Their only useful skill is posting selfies and photos of their trip on Facebook.

FTFY

That's a great story TGS.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #125 on: October 05, 2017, 03:42:04 PM »

Our Costco is in a good area, but the panhandlers must go out of there way to show up there. The worst one, though, was when I was putting my groceries away once and a Tahoe pulls up. Two girls in their twenties. Driver rolls down the window, says she needs money for gas. Both she and her friend are drinking out of soda cups from Chipotle. I could smell the burritos, too.

:(

I'd give them a cookbook.

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #126 on: October 05, 2017, 04:09:07 PM »

Ah, the miracle of the mission-cation. Disaster relief tourism is also popular. I frequently badmouth such operations, but I do it to the face of the people involved just so I can see their reactions.

...

My honest, uncensored opinion is that some people go on mission trips as glorified vacations. It's especially telling when they don't even know any of the local languages of the places they are traveling to and have no useful skills to help anyone. Their only useful skill is posting selfies and photos of their trip on Facebook.

TGS: love the use of Tagalog in your story.

Can I add in that I also hate people who want others to pay for their "experiences".  As in: sponsor me to do a parachute jump on behalf of X charity.  Or run a Marathon on behalf of Y charity (you are more likely to get a place in the fashionable marathons if you are "running for charity").   Or sponsor me to save turtles on this tropical island.

Give me a break.

I've given to one particular charity runner, however it wasn't any GoFundMe nonsense. In his particular case there weren't any quotation marks in his running for charity. He really was picked for a team organized by his charity, and they gave him a special uniform to wear and assigned him races. He made use of social media to raise awareness, but all the donations went through the charity. He didn't have a choice about where or when he competed, and his plane ticket wasn't dependent on the money he raised. Part of what he raised went to travel expenses for him, but most of it went to the charity and I got a tax deductible receipt for the donation. In his particular case, he'd been volunteering for that charity since his teen years and had even been recognized for it by a local TV station.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #127 on: October 06, 2017, 12:44:42 AM »
Can I add in that I also hate people who want others to pay for their "experiences".  As in: sponsor me to do a parachute jump on behalf of X charity.

Study showing that parachute jumps for the NHS cost £13 for every £1 raised

former player

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #128 on: October 06, 2017, 08:42:15 AM »
Can I add in that I also hate people who want others to pay for their "experiences".  As in: sponsor me to do a parachute jump on behalf of X charity.

Study showing that parachute jumps for the NHS cost £13 for every £1 raised
Thank you PlayingwithFire.  I am now basking in the glow of having my unreasoning prejudices justified by published scientific research and my job here is done.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #129 on: October 06, 2017, 09:00:19 AM »
Can I add in that I also hate people who want others to pay for their "experiences".  As in: sponsor me to do a parachute jump on behalf of X charity.

Study showing that parachute jumps for the NHS cost £13 for every £1 raised
Thank you PlayingwithFire.  I am now basking in the glow of having my unreasoning prejudices justified by published scientific research and my job here is done.

You can't argue with science (when it supports what you were going to say anyway).

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #130 on: October 06, 2017, 10:03:16 AM »
I remembered one.   A woman at our church asked for donations for her "mission" trip to Africa.     
Ah, the miracle of the mission-cation. Disaster relief tourism is also popular.
I'm from East Africa. The (British) Anglican church was fine, as were the Seventh-Day Adventists. Now it's all American-style Mega Churches. Not only in the big cities, but the small towns too. Go big or go home... You have to tithe more at the mega-church and the shaming is front-and-center.

As a teen/young adult, used to see plenty of white American kids in Nairobi/Mombasa night clubs and party spots. Yeah... charity trip story does work on your parents.

“When the Missionaries arrived, the Africans had the land and the Missionaries had the Bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.”
― Jomo Kenyatta (Kenyan anti-colonial activist, politician, 1st President)
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 10:08:22 AM by jinga nation »

clarkfan1979

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Borrow Money
« Reply #131 on: October 06, 2017, 04:21:01 PM »
I loaned money in high school at a then reasonable rate.  I held your collateral until you repaid me.  Only lost money once:  10 cents.  That was when I starting holding collateral.

Chase is not my name. :)

I had the same exact thing happen to me. I gave out loans in elementary/middle school and charged interest. I only had one person not pay and it was 10 cents. My mom found like $50 in change in my backpack on the last day of school. She wouldn't give it back to me.

frugledoc

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #132 on: October 07, 2017, 01:37:29 AM »
I actually got so pissed at that bank that I called my wife instantly and said that I was going loan him $3400 interest-free if she was ok with it. Turns out she was fine with it and him and I went to get the car.

Not sure why you were pissed at the bank. 12-15% interest mitigates the large risk of loaning money to someone who can't afford a $4000 used car.
A different perspective: such a loan would legally be considered usury in Belgium (any loan actually between 1250 and 5000€ with a total yearly cost equal to or higher than 12.5%). Usury loan means the borrower can walk away from making payments and just keep the principal.
[/quote]

That is crazy.  12% does not cover the risk of lending to most of this sector of society.

I do a  lot of asset backed P2P lending at rates 12 - 15% in the UK

frugledoc

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #133 on: October 07, 2017, 01:42:23 AM »
Can I add in that I also hate people who want others to pay for their "experiences".  As in: sponsor me to do a parachute jump on behalf of X charity.

Study showing that parachute jumps for the NHS cost £13 for every £1 raised

And that cost is massively understated because it only accounts for injuries and not the other hidden costs.

It does not mention that these people often make a GP appoinment (free to them but at cost and burden to society) to ask their GP to complete forms saying they are fit to jump, which is not the GPs job and they are not trained to do.

Never sponsor anybody doing anything that costs money for charity.

If they want to do a sponsered walk,swim, hike etc I'm fine with it but the rest of them are just  pretending to do something charitable but really just want the free experience.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 01:44:21 AM by frugledoc »

a286

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #134 on: October 17, 2017, 04:19:50 PM »
I'll play. I learned young also and have been lucky so far.

In middle school, my best friend's family took me on a few of their vacations because she was an only child. On one trip, we were in the hotel gift shop and she borrowed $20 from me to buy a gift for some extended family member, a grandparent or something. When we went back to the room, her mom gave her money for the gift. Instead of giving me the $20 that should have been my share, she bought herself a jacket. This was a big deal to me as all of my money at the time was from babysitting or birthdays, and this friend got an allowance every week for breathing, and more for doing things like making her bed.

A few years ago, I was out of college working two part time jobs. My sister was a freshman at our local university (in town). At the time, our mom had recently passed away and my dad was dating someone 8 hours away, and would spend some weekends with this lady. My sister didn't have her car on campus because my dad wouldn't buy her the $400 parking permit, but on weekends he was gone she would come home and get it. One day a parking ticket showed up in the mailbox in my name. I went out of state for college, but had taken a summer class and used that car, so they sent me the ticket for my sister. My friend worked for parking at the time, so I called her and she switched it to my sister's name/dorm room address/student account. One morning she called me at my job on the work phone bawling because the car had been towed, and she had no money and no way to get there. Apparently she had already called my dad (out of town) and he told her to call me. I had to work both jobs that day with only a half hour break in between, so I told her the only way I could help was if she found a way to my side of town she could take my debit card to my atm across the street and get $200 out (the limit).

So she borrowed her roommate's car and drove over and did that. Then proceeded to not pay me back, always with an excuse when I reminded her. She had a job during this time. She bought Christmas gifts, she bought me a birthday gift, she went to Cancun all expenses paid by her roommate's family, etc. I also found a bank statement where she blew through her $2000 student loan refund in a month on food, weight loss supplements, and cash from the atm (I assume booze). Later I also found out she got the car towed 4 or 5 times throughout the year, on top of paying several hundred bucks in parking tickets.

I got the money back eventually, probably due to a combination of shaming/lecturing and a windfall. I finally told her that what disappointed me the most was that she just dodged me and didn't ask to pay it back over time, or to do it after her trip so she'd have spending money, blah blah blah. A few weeks after we had a huge garage sale because we were going to rent the family home, and her and I got most of the money because my dad did nothing, so she gave me the $200 out of her share.

Never again. Definitely looking at stuff as a gift and not a loan for close friends and family, and only in certain circumstances. But I haven't been in that situation yet since.

libertarian4321

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #135 on: October 17, 2017, 08:07:48 PM »
The 19 year old daughter of a family friend, who had recently dropped out of college, asked to borrow money for breast implants to jump start her budding career as a stripper.

Had I been foolish enough to make that loan, I'm pretty sure I never would have seen that money again.

MrsPete

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #136 on: October 17, 2017, 09:23:30 PM »
Sexy underwear.  Yeah, really.  I declined to make the loan. 

MrsPete

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #137 on: October 17, 2017, 09:42:02 PM »
The 19 year old daughter of a family friend, who had recently dropped out of college, asked to borrow money for breast implants to jump start her budding career as a stripper.

Had I been foolish enough to make that loan, I'm pretty sure I never would have seen that money again.
Oh, I don't know.  Had you made the loan, you might've had the opportunity to SEE your investment several nights a week ... on stage.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #138 on: October 17, 2017, 11:29:36 PM »
The 19 year old daughter of a family friend, who had recently dropped out of college, asked to borrow money for breast implants to jump start her budding career as a stripper.

Had I been foolish enough to make that loan, I'm pretty sure I never would have seen that money again.
That doesn't seem that dumb. I would go the corporate route, setting up an office in the right neighborhood, with a sign that reads "Paul's Balloon Financing Services", and partner with a local surgeon for referring business, and the local establishments for ensuring repayment.

steviesterno

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #139 on: October 22, 2017, 02:05:59 PM »
I teach in a professional school where the graduates are doctors. I had a student email me his GoFundMe, as he was trying to get charitable donations to start a business.... Not that they would be repaid, or you got in as an investor, just donate to him to start a for profit business. I checked and of the 200+ people asked, not a single donation was raised. weird.

another one I had 2 teenage girls knock on my door and say they were fundraising for their dad's roofing company. Um, no. also you're trespassing....

Just Joe

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #140 on: October 22, 2017, 05:43:41 PM »
Fundraising for a company... Hmmm... In olden times you work a second job until your new company begins to make a profit - which ought to be pretty quick for a small roofing company. Overhead is pretty small, no?

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #141 on: October 22, 2017, 06:57:33 PM »
I teach in a professional school where the graduates are doctors. I had a student email me his GoFundMe, as he was trying to get charitable donations to start a business.... Not that they would be repaid, or you got in as an investor, just donate to him to start a for profit business. I checked and of the 200+ people asked, not a single donation was raised. weird.

another one I had 2 teenage girls knock on my door and say they were fundraising for their dad's roofing company. Um, no. also you're trespassing....

Sad: instead of fundraising he could have taught them how to measure a roof and give out free estimates.

sequoia

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #142 on: October 22, 2017, 09:31:34 PM »
I remembered one.   A woman at our church asked for donations for her "mission" trip to Africa.     

It was really a safari trip for her plus maybe 6 days in Uganda with one of the missionaries who is a son of another member in the congregation.   This mission is ok, but more because it is set up as a working locally run co-op business where the organizer only takes living expenses and modest stipend, and does not help a lot of people because of the nature of it.  i.e., it is not registered or funded as a charity in any way, and there would be nothing for her to do other than tour it and learn about it.

I think she heard rumours that a mission trip can generate a lot of donations to offset your costs, and she jumped on it.  Our church body does not tend to send any people to start missions anywhere.

A relative badmouthed about it behind her back, "she wants us to fund her personal trip"... it got back to her and caused a big flare up.   But the next thing I know is that she stopped asking for money.  She gets back in two weeks, so I hope to find out how it went and if she got off the tourist track.

Ah, the miracle of the mission-cation. Disaster relief tourism is also popular. I frequently badmouth such operations, but I do it to the face of the people involved just so I can see their reactions.

Not all disaster relief travel is stupid. I've got a cousin with a doctorate in nursing who does relief missions: on her vacation time, she piggybacks on MSF operations and through her church. She's got the credentials to actually educate the people she meets and routinely sets up nurse training while she's in-country and converts illiterate field hands into competent hospital staff. She's a hardcore badass and I salute her for it often. But she also doesn't solicit for donations to fund that work, because she's got funding out the wazoo already. That's not what I mean by relief tourism. I mean the stuff like in this following anecdote.

Some years ago, following a big disaster in the Philippines, I got hit up by a daughter of a family friend (our families are still friends... kind of...) for a donation to send her and some other young volunteers from her church group to Manila to help with a rescue operation. Now these are high school and college aged students with big hearts but not a lot of skill at logistics. So I put a velvet glove on my scythe and went Socratic. The conversation went roughly like this.

Me: So, they need to rebuild roads, bridges, houses and such. Are you a civil engineer?

Kid: No.

Me: Plumber? Electrician? Even a first-year apprentice could do some useful work getting power and plumbing back on-line.

Kid: No.

Me: OK, do you have a background in construction? Can you drive a forklift, maybe, or operate a bulldozer to help get the roads open?

Kid: No.

Me: All right, maybe you can work in the hospital. You're too young to be a medical doctor, but do you have nursing credentials? A bit of clinical study, maybe?

Kid: No.

Me: Do you know any Tagalog? Like if someone came up to you and said (here I inserted a Tagalog phrase meaning "I need a drink of water"), could you tell what that person was trying to say?

Kid: No. What's Tagalog?

Me: It's the local language. Very few of the people you're trying to help speak English.

A few other questions established that none of the other young people going on the mission had the credentials I was asking about either. So I told the kid that as much as I respected her desire to help, I couldn't support the plan in its current form because it would do more harm than good. In a disaster zone they'd be unable to do anything really useful that the locals couldn't do better, and in the meantime they'd be in the way, vulnerable to danger, and consuming food and housing resources that could instead be given to local people who had lost their homes. But if they were willing to collect for a real and experienced relief group like MSF or the Red Cross, I'd be willing to donate (and I said a number that, for me, was a sizable but affordable amount). Sometime later I heard from the parents that the trip had been cancelled. They never did collect for a real relief group, so I ended up donating elsewhere.

My honest, uncensored opinion is that some people go on mission trips as glorified vacations. It's especially telling when they don't even know any of the local languages of the places they are traveling to and have no useful completely useless skills to help anyone. Their only useful skill is posting selfies and photos of their trip on Facebook.

FTFY

That's a great story TGS.

Thank you for posting this. I completely agree. I always thought that the cost of sending someone to build some house in third world countries are just silly. Lets say it cost $1K for the airplane, another $1K for food, place to stay etc. I always think it is better to just send $2K and let the local folks buy the materials and build that house or whatever needed to be built. It is not like they do not have anyone who can swing a hammer, use a saw, and pour cement foundation. It is a whole different conversation if one is a medical doctor, and go there to do surgeries. I can see that in certain area, there is no access  to medical doctor, but to just have someone use a hammer, cut some lumber, that just a complete waste of resources (money).

I am probably the only person who thinks this way at church that I attended.

Dicey

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #143 on: October 22, 2017, 09:58:30 PM »
I teach in a professional school where the graduates are doctors. I had a student email me his GoFundMe, as he was trying to get charitable donations to start a business.... Not that they would be repaid, or you got in as an investor, just donate to him to start a for profit business. I checked and of the 200+ people asked, not a single donation was raised. weird. Weirdly good.

another one I had 2 teenage girls knock on my door and say they were fundraising for their dad's roofing company. Um, no. also you're trespassing....
Hmmm, pretty sure any funds raised by the two teenage girls were not given to "Dad". He probably would have been mortified if he found out what those two were up to.

ixtap

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #144 on: October 23, 2017, 10:55:23 AM »
I remembered one.   A woman at our church asked for donations for her "mission" trip to Africa.     

It was really a safari trip for her plus maybe 6 days in Uganda with one of the missionaries who is a son of another member in the congregation.   This mission is ok, but more because it is set up as a working locally run co-op business where the organizer only takes living expenses and modest stipend, and does not help a lot of people because of the nature of it.  i.e., it is not registered or funded as a charity in any way, and there would be nothing for her to do other than tour it and learn about it.

I think she heard rumours that a mission trip can generate a lot of donations to offset your costs, and she jumped on it.  Our church body does not tend to send any people to start missions anywhere.

A relative badmouthed about it behind her back, "she wants us to fund her personal trip"... it got back to her and caused a big flare up.   But the next thing I know is that she stopped asking for money.  She gets back in two weeks, so I hope to find out how it went and if she got off the tourist track.

Ah, the miracle of the mission-cation. Disaster relief tourism is also popular. I frequently badmouth such operations, but I do it to the face of the people involved just so I can see their reactions.

Not all disaster relief travel is stupid. I've got a cousin with a doctorate in nursing who does relief missions: on her vacation time, she piggybacks on MSF operations and through her church. She's got the credentials to actually educate the people she meets and routinely sets up nurse training while she's in-country and converts illiterate field hands into competent hospital staff. She's a hardcore badass and I salute her for it often. But she also doesn't solicit for donations to fund that work, because she's got funding out the wazoo already. That's not what I mean by relief tourism. I mean the stuff like in this following anecdote.

Some years ago, following a big disaster in the Philippines, I got hit up by a daughter of a family friend (our families are still friends... kind of...) for a donation to send her and some other young volunteers from her church group to Manila to help with a rescue operation. Now these are high school and college aged students with big hearts but not a lot of skill at logistics. So I put a velvet glove on my scythe and went Socratic. The conversation went roughly like this.

Me: So, they need to rebuild roads, bridges, houses and such. Are you a civil engineer?

Kid: No.

Me: Plumber? Electrician? Even a first-year apprentice could do some useful work getting power and plumbing back on-line.

Kid: No.

Me: OK, do you have a background in construction? Can you drive a forklift, maybe, or operate a bulldozer to help get the roads open?

Kid: No.

Me: All right, maybe you can work in the hospital. You're too young to be a medical doctor, but do you have nursing credentials? A bit of clinical study, maybe?

Kid: No.

Me: Do you know any Tagalog? Like if someone came up to you and said (here I inserted a Tagalog phrase meaning "I need a drink of water"), could you tell what that person was trying to say?

Kid: No. What's Tagalog?

Me: It's the local language. Very few of the people you're trying to help speak English.

A few other questions established that none of the other young people going on the mission had the credentials I was asking about either. So I told the kid that as much as I respected her desire to help, I couldn't support the plan in its current form because it would do more harm than good. In a disaster zone they'd be unable to do anything really useful that the locals couldn't do better, and in the meantime they'd be in the way, vulnerable to danger, and consuming food and housing resources that could instead be given to local people who had lost their homes. But if they were willing to collect for a real and experienced relief group like MSF or the Red Cross, I'd be willing to donate (and I said a number that, for me, was a sizable but affordable amount). Sometime later I heard from the parents that the trip had been cancelled. They never did collect for a real relief group, so I ended up donating elsewhere.

My honest, uncensored opinion is that some people go on mission trips as glorified vacations. It's especially telling when they don't even know any of the local languages of the places they are traveling to and have no useful completely useless skills to help anyone. Their only useful skill is posting selfies and photos of their trip on Facebook.

FTFY

That's a great story TGS.

Thank you for posting this. I completely agree. I always thought that the cost of sending someone to build some house in third world countries are just silly. Lets say it cost $1K for the airplane, another $1K for food, place to stay etc. I always think it is better to just send $2K and let the local folks buy the materials and build that house or whatever needed to be built. It is not like they do not have anyone who can swing a hammer, use a saw, and pour cement foundation. It is a whole different conversation if one is a medical doctor, and go there to do surgeries. I can see that in certain area, there is no access  to medical doctor, but to just have someone use a hammer, cut some lumber, that just a complete waste of resources (money).

I am probably the only person who thinks this way at church that I attended.

I once had a Spanish student come up and tell me she was very motivated to do well because she wanted to go to Brazil to bring The Good News...

RidetheRain

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Re: Dumbest Thing For Which You've Been Asked to Lend Money
« Reply #145 on: October 23, 2017, 01:51:40 PM »
A roommate in college asked me to pay her share of the utilities one month because she was short. About $60 or so was her split and I'd be mad if they shut off the power because I wouldn't lend her money so I paid it no problem. Two weeks later she comes home with a brand new dog. I'm pretty sure I bought her a dog.

She did repay me and wasn't late on stuff so I guess it worked out. But I'm still pretty sure I bought her a dog...