The Matzav Shmoooze: Stop Knocking On My Door Please


kid-knocking-on-doorDear readers,

I am not one to kvetch and I don’t like making a big deal out of mundane things, but something really bothers me. Do those who organize walkathons and drives to raise money for organizations realize what the results of their efforts are?

Since last week, I have had over three dozen girls knocking on my door at all hours of the day and night collecting for a walkathon. Besides for the money aspect, there is the peace-of-mind aspect, being bothered throughout the day. And when I don’t answer the door because I am doing laundry, serving supper or feeding my baby, the knocking doesn’t stop. The kids will knock until their knuckles are falling off.

Can we come up with better ways to raise dollars for tzedakah than having young kids harassing everyone in the neighborhood?

A Frustrated Mother


The Matzav Shmoooze is a regular feature on that allows all readers to share a thought or analysis, long or short, one sentence or several paragraphs long, on any topic, for readers to mull over and comment on. Email submissions to

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  1. I couldn’t agree more. It is a big problem and I have the added pressure of my own daughter asking if she could go out collecting. I don’t allow it, but then I’m the mean one.

  2. I would like to know which Rav allows the girls to go raise money from private homes? I know that the Steipler zt”l did not allow women to do go door to door during the Yom Kippur war to raise money for families whose husbands went called to battle. This is against the whole concept of Kol Kevudah bas Melech Penimah. By the way, this is not just a comment, I would like the heads of this organization to respond.

  3. Your article is concise and to the point. I agree with you 100%. Yes, children can be taught that if the people don’t answer the door after a few knocks, it means that….a number of things.

  4. we have it clearly in the gemara & shulchan aruch that it’s not the derech of females to go door to door collecting…

  5. i couldnt agree more they just dont stop all day number 4 your weird its very hard coming home from work trying to make supper do laundry attend to kids and knocking at door every min they just dont stop


  7. The best way to put a stop to this is if everybody unanimously refuses to donate to these girls who come knocking on our doors. There are enough valid reasons to do this some of which have been mentioned above.

  8. I agree with you 100%. i have 2-3 girls knocking on my door every evening while i’m feeding the kids or putting them to sleep. i run downstairs and open the door so that they stop knocking. please figure out a different method to raise money!

  9. I further believe that it spoils these children’s way of thinking.

    For example: My nieces collect every year for an organization, and they being their requests with, “Do you want to sponsor me for …?”

    Unfortunately, they don’t stop there. They continue to ask everyone around to “sponsor” flights for vacation, tickets to concerts, new games and toys, etc. They know no boundaries, b/c they ask everyone to sponsor them for tzedaka, so why not ask everyone to sponsor their luxury items?

  10. I agree with #7 and if I don’t answer they just don’t stop and then my kids harass me to open the door so I have double harrassment.

  11. I hate the knocking too, but #2 these are little girls. There are a lot of things that women don’t do but we let little girls.

  12. The other day a 4th girl knocked on my door for this org. I told her “your the 4th girl to knock on my door”. I felt so bad afterwards thinking how this girl must have felt. I should’ve just given her $.25-$.50 and not said anything.

  13. How about the safety aspect of it all?
    Isn’t dangerous What if someone is lurking in the space or yard or what ever.?

  14. Young girls going door to door collecting? Who is authorizing this insanity? With all the news stories about violence and our own (usually well-hidden) stories about abuse, someone is actually allowing young girls (or boys, for that matter) to go door-to-door collecting?

    Someone needs their head examined – now. This is sending children into clear danger. Older teen boys – maybe, if they’re going to selected specific addresses. Girls of any age – NEVER. Not my daughter – and it shouldn’t be yours either.

  15. K everybody if u dont want them to knock on your door then leave an evelope with how ever much u want to give leave a note saying only one per person. This organization is to help ppl. be nice!!!!

  16. I told my daughter that she can’t go collecting. If it’s for their own Bais Yaakov, I could hear a sefara, but it’s usually for others. I take these Organizations to task for their tactics, using small children with the alure of prizes, to raise money for their themselves!

  17. i agree with #4. this lady starts by saying she does not like to kvetch and then goes on to kvetch and kvetch.

  18. Get a life. What a beautiful concept, teaching our children the importance of tzedakah.

    These are young girls under 10 years old going collecting during the day on busy streets. Let’s all calm down and stop being so bitter.

  19. yes it is extremely annoying & it makes me not want to give this organization at all for causing this aggravation even though it may be a good one

  20. Give them their dollar and stop whining. Instaed of being on the web or tv or game console they are doing a mitzvah. This is great. They do the hard work and you complain about answering the door.

  21. @ everybody: thsee girls would not be on a tv or internet , they are teeny . its not the knoning that bothers me as much at it seems exploitative of the little girls .

  22. My thoughts exactly.
    I do not allow my children to go collecting from door to door. On Purim my son who is young (7) asked if he could collect for his Yeshiva. I told him yes, you can take a pushka to shul with you and you can ask people who come to our home and people who we go to give mishloach monos too, as well as relatives at our Purim seudah.
    My daughter’s school has a raffle every year – I let her – just for her school – to call my sisters, brothers, as well as my husbands siblings and to go to my 4 neighbors.
    The organizations have to stop with the CRAZY prizes – they do not realize what pressure they put on the kids – they all feel that they need to have the latest craze and toy and there is no reason for that!!

  23. 1) The worst is when they don’t get the prize, then they learn to promise and not deliver.
    2) Children, boys & girls are not fundraisers! and shouldn’t be used as such.

  24. Now that we have a basic consensus that everyone is against this practice, can we actually do something about it?

  25. why are we just talking about girls? boys also bang away, till you answer. Its important to teach our children to collect and do for others but we must also teach them how to knock on a door like a mentch

  26. while we are on the subject. what about the almost daily automated telephone calls updating us about every auction in brooklyn?

  27. Whenever a new tzedaka drive hits my area I ask the first collector who knocks at the door to please give me a raffle or flyer or whatever they are going around with. I then proceed to hang it on my door with the words “We have already contributed” written in large block letters on it.

    This does not help for the really small children who cannot read and will knock for hours without letup. It is totally assur for such small kids to be entrusted with tzedaka money in the first place! They will cetainly lose some and many will have the nisayon of stealing lo aleinu.

    Responsible organizations such as Peylim (Lev L’Achim)will only begin their campaigns from 2nd grade and until 5th grade only gives the children closed pushkas (which cannot be opened). It would be cheaper for them to use reusable pushkas but they will not compromise on daas Torah who advised them long ago not to give young children a nisayon before they can handle it.

    Lets give the kids a smile and some money and encourage them to grow up with a positive feeling for tzedaka and helping others1

  28. Lets use chinuch techniques to teach how to collect , when, with, whom, and from whom and not throw away zechusim because of some annoyances which can be controlled

  29. mi kiamcha yisrael…if it was your brother’s kids would it bother you? Well, they ARE your brothers kids. its all in the perspective.

  30. The write of this article makes the following statement:
    “Can we come up with better ways to raise dollars for tzedakah than having young kids harassing everyone in the neighborhood?”
    Valid question it would seem.
    So the answer I will give you is the answer that Dayan Dunner gave at the Aguda Convention a few years ago.
    Why wait for them to come begging you?

  31. i dont understand everyones problem. i think its crazy that you are getting so worked up over ppl doing a mitzva!! think of all the good these orginazations do!

  32. could you imagine how the ribeno shel olam feels when you knock on his door rapping with your knucles. i hope that His attitude is better than yours

  33. honestly, what do you get from writing a rant on matzav? will it rectify the situation? It just lets 40 people give their 2 cents. why don’t you call up the organization and brain storm with them how they can make money without the constant knocks on doors????????? anyone second this opinion? i hope the original letter writer reads this.

  34. #38 If my brother had 30 children than yes it would be a bother.
    Anyway, nobody is complaining about the mitzvah or the chinuch or the beautiful lessons etc. that we are trying to reschedule our children. It is simply the operation that is bothering everybody. Some points: (no particular order of importance and definitely not all inclusive) 1. Schools should arrange who goes where so that each home gets one visit and not 25. (yes, that really happens!) Obviously, this is not practical as the children basically collect in there own neiborhood. Hence, another reason why this is not a good idea. It’s too difficult to organize. 2. Why aren’t the children taught basic collecting etiquette ( or are they being taught and not following through?). ie: 1. Nock or ring once and then move on if there is no answer. 2. Please! Don’t come after 7! Young children are going to sleep then; many are sleeping already and are being woken up past 8 o’clock (yes, happened to me)!

    To all those who are ok with it, Kol Hakovod. But don’t knock the rest us, the majority it seems. This is a problem.

  35. Come on Grow up and lighten up. If you are too busy don’t answer. Or just put some coins on the table and let one of your kids give them out to the girls that come to collect. I actually think it is an original, fun and healthy way to fund raise.

  36. Children, male of female, should not collect tzedaka. Who says that they have neemonums to keep the money safe?

    I think it is bad chinuch to let them do this and not require that responsible people handle tzedaka money.

  37. i agreee with # 39. dont complain about ppl coming collecting ! give tzedaka in the first place and they wont have to come collecting!
    also what a beautiful concept , teaching children the meaning of tzedaka

  38. All the children in the neighborhood should be organized to go around in or 2 shifts together.That will solve several of the issues mentioned.