Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Charity.

I'm torn.

As I was walking home, headphones on, walking quickly as it was so cold, a man approached me asking something. I took my headphones off and stopped to ask him to repeat himself. He asked for some change.

I told him I was sorry, but I had no cash on me. He asked again, 'it's for the phone'. 'I am sorry, I've got no change' I repeated.

He then proceeded to get a bit aggressive with me, he came up close and raised his voice. Like he's entitled to my money, and I was being unreasonable not giving him any. I repeated, again, that I really didn't have any cash, and I walked on, putting my headphones on and walking away. He did shout something after me but thanks to Silverchair I didn't hear him.

Now. I actually didn't have any cash, but that's completely besides the point. I don't like feeling forced or guilt tripped into giving money. Blablabla. I give a lot of my time to a charity of my choice, and I'll always donate pennies etc to the charity boxes in shops. I don't want to be approached and asked for money. If I'm approached in the street by people asking for donations (I don't mean beggars - by charity representatives) I always say I'd love to - but I only have a Swedish bank account so unfortunately I can't. A white lie - I don't want to give out my bank details on the bloomin' street. It is, incidentally, a nice way of getting people to tell me they love me. It's often the only sentence charity fundraisers (especially in Nottingham?!) can say in Swedish.

I digress.

So, one part of me is annoyed and frustrated at being approached by someone asking for change. Not at being approached per se - but at being hassled.

The other part... well, I don't think people would do it if they weren't desperate. It doesn't really matter if this guy was actually wanting change for the phone or if he wanted it for drugs - it was obvious he was desperate for 50p. Or however much he was asking for.

I don't know.

Charities struggle. People struggle. I don't know and don't care if it's because of a recession, because of people letting themselves get into debt or hooked on drugs. The point is, they're struggling. And I'm all for helping people but I believe it needs to be done through the appropriate channels. If nothing else to stop people being taken advantage of.

You see it everywhere. People are so vulnerable and blind, especially where love is involved. I worked with someone who was a complete pushover at the mercy of her son - she was cajoled into babysitting several times a week so that the son & girlfriend could go out. And of course, she loves her grandkids so she does it. And she doesn't moan. But she was being treated so badly - taken for granted. I'm not sure how that relates to the previous paragraphs exactly but nevermind.

I had an idea - partly thanks to Nathan - as I do flexi time, I could technically work 8-6 four days a week and have one day off to focus on house work + my charity work. I may run this past my boss. Not sure it would be allowed though!

4 comments:

Takeme2paradise said...

So many thoughts there hun and I totally understand and agree.I was approached by a charity in the street not so long ago, they asked me to consider signing up to give regular donations because their charity was struggling so much but then refused point blank to accept a one off donation...funny how they can pick and choose what kind of donations they want to accept...surely any amount (and mine wasn't a tiny amount)is helpful if they are struggling.It made me very angry x

Takeme2paradise said...

So many thoughts there hun and I totally understand and agree.I was approached by a charity in the street not so long ago, they asked me to consider signing up to give regular donations because their charity was struggling so much but then refused point blank to accept a one off donation...funny how they can pick and choose what kind of donations they want to accept...surely any amount (and mine wasn't a tiny amount)is helpful if they are struggling.It made me very angry x

Julia said...

That's what I'm struggling with - the idea that it has to be a monthly transaction, something continuous. It adds a level of corporatism to something that really shouldn't have to be about that.

Of course, charities are subject to high running costs, and a percentage of everything donate will go on that. It's only natural.

Not sure why your post posted twice then!

Thanks for reading and replying hun.

xx

Radio Waves said...

Sorry to hear that he got a bit aggressive. You get some strange types begging and such. I hate it when they call to our door, it doesn't happen very often, but urgh. Obviously it's more common the city...'I'll say a prayer for you and your family', um yeah, appreciate the sentiment, but that's not going to make me hand over any money. If I have a little bit of loose change in my pocket I might give it over, but it's usually half nothing and I don't want to risk opening my pocket/where any notes might be.

I'm a little hesitant about monthly donations, probably because of the guilt trip ads...but you're right not want to give out your bank details on the street! It's an unfortunate time of year for this kind of thing, they're all going to be scrambling for funds.