I have a neighbor who is a lovely lady and she knows I love to bake and decorate but also knows that I am in no way legal. She attends a local church that is holding a fundraiser for a charity (she did tell me months ago, I just can't remember). She asked me and I offered to help.
She came to visit me a few days ago to chat and let me know the definate date of the function. I'd made a batch of cake balls and offered her one out of my freezer. She turned around to me after trying one and said, They're great. Just leave them in the freezer and I'll pick them up on the date.
WTH? Did something get lost in translation? I offered help, not to do the whole thing for her. I'm all for donating to good causes but I am in no way affiliated with her church. I'm on a tight budget and don't have the money, means or time to make 200(!) cake balls for her.
Am I being a scrooge? If not, how do I broach the topic without alienating or offending her? She is one of the few friends I have where I am.
We are in a VERY small community full of gossips and busy bodies and I already have a reputation for being "rude" because I try to avoid people around here because I was warned about (the gossiping etc) when we first moved here and I'm past all the high school games that some "adults" like to play.
What do I do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I think you just have to be honest with her. Tell her what you told us here - no time or $. If she'd like to donate ingredients perhaps you could have her help you make 100 cake balls, or you could work at the event and donate your time.
Come right out and tell her you would be glad to donate a dozen or two "but my budget will not allow me to make hundreds." (said with a smile!) Be very nice, kind w/your words - keep it as light as you can. Then add "how else can I help?"
It sounds like a simple miscommunication, I would talk to her explaining where you were coming from when you meant 'help' and even start the comversation with " I think there has been a slight miscommunication about the type of help I was offering".........as leah suggested be honest and tell her exactly what you have posted here. That is very reasonable.
Did the number 200 come up in conversation?. Maybe she isn't expecting you to make all 200. Tell her how many you can donate so she can figure out what other donations she'll need from someone else.
I agree with the others. Just be honestly and upfront with her about what you can/would like to donate.
Some people just don't understand the time and expense that is involved.