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Forum > Miscellaneous > The "by donation" dilemma ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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The "by donation" dilemma
Finding the right amount
tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/5/13 1:49 PM

We have many Christmas tree chipping depots around right now and the dilemma is "how much to donate?" As much as I sometimes find it a bit disconcerting to have a "suggested donation", it does give a framework for people to work around. On one hand, the groups are probably truly grateful for any donation of any amount, but OTOH, sometimes it is hard to know what a particular service is worth. Having never had to pay someone to chip a Christmas tree, I don't have a market value to go by.

Our decision, based on a rigorous 90 second discussion was that a toonie is too little ($2 coin), $10 might be overdoing and that $5 is probably about right. We based that on the fact that we know someone who is taking a one hour "by donation" fitness class that has a suggested donation of $5. Talk about apples and oranges!

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Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to tourist <<


Date: 1/5/13 7:55 PM

Quote:
Christmas tree chipping depots

Could you please explain? I live in an area where the city has one week of Christmas tree pick up on the regular garbage day. It's held on the first full week after New Year's, and they have a company collect the trees for mulching.

I'm assuming you mean you have to take your tree to the chipping place, which is theoretically free but people usually tip them? Five bucks sounds like a nice figure to me, too, but I don't really know. What do your neighbors do?

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andrea.m
andrea.m
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Date: 1/5/13 8:05 PM

For me, the donation depends on the group / charity that is doing the depot and chipping. Fire fighters, boys and girls club, scouts or ??? Some groups/charities I refuse to donate to and others will get up to $5. When we had a real tree, I just took it to the yard waste section of the dump. We just had chip it day at the hardware store for the fire fighters.

tourist
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Date: 1/6/13 10:46 AM

Yes, various groups get a tree removal or landscaping company (who probably donate their time and equipment) and set up at various places usually with a large parking lot and you can just drive in, they pull the tree out of your trunk or off the roof of your car and toss it into the chipper. They used to then take the chips and use them on pathways in municipal parks etc. Don't know if they still do that or not. So few people I know still get real trees. I will have to remember to ask around next year before chipping day.

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PattiAnnJ
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Subject: The by donation dilemma Date: 1/6/13 8:18 PM

If it is a company or organization that is going to receive payment for the chips, then I see no reason to give them a tip.

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

beauturbo
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In reply to tourist <<


Date: 1/6/13 8:21 PM

Where I live, the garbage/recycle company takes them away for free. As long as you really get them out there, on the side of the street by the dates you are supposed to. But I do have a chipping machine sitting under my own Oak Tree just because it's huge and really messy.
If they are using something small to do it with, that someone of thiers just owns, it probably costs them almost nothing to do it at all. But if instead they are renting/leasing/paying for some big huge thing on a huge rental truck to do it instead, then maybe it does cost them a bit more. I think $5 sounds fine, just because $10 is kind of a lot of money, and $2 hardly buys even a candy bar anymore, so $5 might be about spot on, and even if they are paying someone else I think they would still get to keep quite a bit of it for themselves.

Miss Fairchild
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Date: 1/6/13 8:30 PM

This is an interesting service, Tourist, and I'm sure very well utilized. What I can see is people taking other people's trees, and chipping them up, right? And for doing this, they will also take the tree off your car, etc. Now as to a donation, well, I think the $5.00 is a good one; sort of like a "recycling fee". Just make sure the organization requesting the donation is a viable one; you don't want any ne'er-do-well picking up donations then running off to use the money for nefarious reasons.

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tourist
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Date: 1/6/13 9:22 PM

Funny how hard it is to describe something that is commonplace in one's own life to someone else! Let me try again to clarify.

The groups who do this are various charity organizations, most often big ones like Lions Club, Rotary, Scouts, volunteer fire fighters groups, the university track team etc. I am sure the tree services donate the machinery and probably some staff volunteer to run it. The rest of the volunteers are all from the service club and the funds all go to the service club or organization. They are sometimes done together with a bottle drive, as well.

It really is a great idea and so nice to get the tree out of the back yard! We do have space and some "wild" area where we have been known to allow the trees of yesteryear to decompose naturally. Which is a euphemism for dumping it out back and forgetting about it.

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http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

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