DEAR ABBY: Please allow me to share some hard-earned advice with your readers. The custom of making donations to a charity in honor of a loved one is common practice nowadays. Although I wholeheartedly support the idea, there can be "problems."
I have learned the hard way to always send a sympathy card to the family, indicating that I made the donation. A close friend's mother passed away, and I made a contribution to her favorite charity clearly indicating on the check "in memory of."
After six months of not receiving an acknowledgement, I politely asked my friend how many donations had been made in her mom's memory. Her answer was "none." When I explained to her that I had sent a donation and so had many other people, she phoned the charity. Their answer was, "Sorry, we forgot to mail out the list"!
On another occasion a relative informed me that my name wasn't on the list of donors. I told her to call the organization back because I had a canceled check. When she did, they informed her that the entire list hadn't printed out correctly. -- LESSON LEARNED IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR LESSON LEARNED: Thank you for writing. I'm sure your letter will raise some eyebrows. Readers, if you follow this advice, it could prevent some misunderstandings and hurt feelings, so file this information in your memory banks.