Super Single Mum's Blog

Life and all the shananigins!

Has Charity Lost it’s Meaning?

Ok I’m all for charity, I work for a charitable company, I took part in this years Race for Life and I regularly sponsor people for various events, I just feel like sometimes charity doesn’t feel like charity any more! What do I mean by that, I think I mean that due to the lack of money floating around our economy, charities have to fight to get what little Joe Average can afford to give away and as such, charities have almost become more sales driven.

Lets take the example of Race for Life. I took part, raised some money, bought promotional items and did what I thought was my bit for this year. I don’t have much spare cash and so this was my way of doing something for charity. About a month ago I got a phone call from a company thanking me for taking part, followed by a 5 minute load of waffle, obviously read from script, about how much MORE is needed in terms of money. Now I am in full support of Cancer Research and if an event is going on I will join in, but I was told that Cancer Research had PAID this telemarketing company to phone round those who took part in Race for Life to gain regular donations from them. I can’t remember the sum involved but it was a fair bit! Ok, ok, what’s my point, yes charities have to put themselves out there and ask and actually through this campaign they hoped to quadruple the initial outlay so fair enough, maybe you have to spend a little to raise a lot. No the bit that annoyed me was when I wouldn’t commit. I explained that as I like to support a variety of charities, I would not commit to one regular donation. She started at £5 a month, then £3 then £1 and then even asked me how much I could afford. I stood my ground and still said no, in fact I think I pointed out that had she listened to my reasons then she would no I wouldn’t commit to any monthly amount.

I know it wasn’t that poor girls fault, she is just doing a job, what I object to is being given the hard sell on giving to charity. Charity, as they say, should begin at home. I have 2 children to provide for and as a single mum things are tight, I can’t afford to give up money every month for charity and hate feeling guilty for it because of the ways charities operate.

It also annoys me when you walk round town and get stopped by the charity clipboard people, I hate that when you smile politely and say no thanks, a lot of the time there is a tone to their “Thanks” as you walk away. I just want to do my shopping in peace and not feel guilty about a rat in Botswana not having safe drinking water! Ok so I haven’t ever been stopped by anyone raising money for that particular issue, but there are some obscure ones out there! How much of my donation would go on admin costs and wages though, how much actually goes to the charity? For me, somewhere in the middle of all of this charity really has lost it’s meaning. When was the last time you gave £1 to a homeless person, or a cuppa from the local cafe if you don’t actually want to give them money. When was the last time you helped out as a volunteer in any capacity. When was the last time you put 50p in a box, not knowing what charity it was for but because you felt like you were doing some good?

So here’s your challenge, instead of putting your hand in your pocket and giving away money you may not have, see how many “charitable” acts you can do over the next week, helping out an elderly neighbour, giving your kids old clothes to a friend who may not be able to afford new clothes for their growing kids. Lets look after each other again!!

I completely understand the need for charities, and for those who can afford to give then fair do’s, my argument here is that there seems to be too much pressure on money to help out charities, rather than doing things within our own communities to make a difference!

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October 22, 2012 - Posted by | Current Affairs |

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