Once in a while I will give to a collection at work, especially if a colleague is going to be left out of pocket but not otherwise. There are over 80 members of staff at work, nearly all of them better off than me and I think that my money is better off going to buy something useful like a solar cooker or a hot meal for a primary school child rather than plant or a trinket for someone who already has lots of stuff. I do always write a message in the card. This year one of the people who is leaving has been there for a considerable length of time and is downsizing, he has asked not to be given any more stuff, I thought that was very good when I first heard it but then the message explained that he wanted to buy a piece of land in Scotland so we were going to be making contributions towards that ! Buying land as a leaving gift is definitely out of my league, so he'll be getting my signature on a card like usual !!