YOU ARE THE ADVICE COLUMNIST: How Do I NOT Give To Charity?

How do I respectfully decline when hit up for money?

Aug 20, 2013 at 6:31pm | Leave a comment

image
Some background: I work in a small, private school in a small town in the South.  As you can imagine, most of the population there is very conservative, pro-life etc (not saying I have anything against this, I just want to give accurate info.  This is also important as you'll see later). There is a charity 5K walk that is done a few times a year (many people in the community are involved) and all the donations benefit a local pregnancy crisis center.
As someone who is adamantly pro-choice, I disagree with pregnancy crisis centers for a multitude of reasons, and I will not support them in any way.
Here's the problem : I get asked by my high school students to donate to this walk "for charity" all the time.   How do I respectfully decline when hit up for money?  It's not simple for a number of reasons:
1) I don't want to tell them what I really think of the centers; I'd rather not get into my views on women's health care when they are (probably in their eyes at least) doing a good thing and raising money for charity.  This also could present a delicate issue with parents later if they misinterpret the situation and feel like I'm pushing pro-choice doctrine on their impressionable teens. But I also am not going to just straight up lie, leading to my next point...
2) I don't want to say no and blame it on financial reasons; I will find a way to support a cause I believe in - even if I may be a bit hard up for cash at the time - and I feel like that answer will make me look like a bit of a cheapskate.  Also, being a single (and *gasp* childless!) schoolteacher at the ripe old age of 27 (major sarcasm of course) in a school of wealthy families, I do not want any reason to invite pity.
What should I do?
Send your questions to advice@xojane.com !
Posted in Relationships