Monday, 24 November 2014
Don't get me wrong. I support charities and I understand that they have to run appeals to get money. However I prefer to support the charities of my choice and to whom I give and how much is entirely a matter for me and not for the rest of the world. The only general exception I make is that I wear a poppy to remember and out of respect for those who lost their lives in war: celebrated on Armistice Day here in the UK and ANZAC Day in New Zealand.
Yesterday the annual Red Cross appeal (one of many by different charities) dropped through my letter box: Christmas cards for me to send together with a pen to write them and stickers to let my friends know that I support the Red Cross. What this really is, though, is blackmail. We've sent you these things so you will feel obliged to pay for them. Well I don't. I actually resent it.
What it amounts to is that if I send a donation to a charity I will be bombarded with even more requests.
Most Saturdays it seems there are bag packers collecting for their own local cause (they are often not charities but the local football club or whatever) on the tills of the supermarkets. Many of these I will happily support but some I certainly am not. I also prefer to pack my own bags. I really don't like someone putting a bag of potatoes on top of my tomatoes. If I feel like supporting the cause I will do so but otherwise I won't but it takes quite a lot of nerve to walk away.
I doesn't stop there of course. We are bombarded at every moment on TV and radio with please text DONATE £10 to 66666 or whatever. And, of course, there's Bob Geldof (but that could be a post all of its own).
I could go on but I'm sure you can think of plenty more examples without my assistance.
I know that charities have to raise money and that in some cases much of it reaches the intended cause but I think it's all gone just a little bit too far. Or am I just being a grumpy old man?