I’ve always had strange opinions of giving to charity. I have charities I actively support and donate to regularly, I put change into collection boxes at tills, at least 3 times a year I cart donations off to various local shops, I’ve helped organise events for particular charities, and if someone is doing something to raise money I’ll gladly support them. What I don’t particularly like is people shaking buckets in the street, and what I absolutely despise is the charities that have people stopping you in the street trying to get you to start a direct debit. It’s not going to happen. Cold calling is also an issue. I rang one notable charity to report a case of animal cruelty a few months ago. Since then I have had daily calls from them asking me to donate. “No” was apparently not a word featuring in their vocabulary.
What I find most admirable is people taking advantage of their talents and pushing themselves out of their comfort zone in order to raise some funds. My dad pushed himself to do 12 long runs in 2012 in aid of Alzheimer’s – he’s a natural athlete, but he chose obstacle courses that were slightly different to the usual half-marathons. It raised money (and he got hooked), and most important it also raised awareness for Alzheimer’s.
I also love it when companies get involved with charities. Which is why this Thursday I’m swapping my dual-screen computer for a till, Excel for bric-a-brac, and my professional voice to my dealing-with-children tone. Half of my team are taking over a charity shop in Teddington for the day. We will be running the shop as normal volunteers, as well as trying to create fun Halloween themed events for children. We’ve also been baking for the last few weeks to start money rolling in. Hence the mini Victoria Sponges you’re seeing dotted around this post. And we’ve collaborated with a local cafe (that does THE best hot chocolates) to form a sponsored coffee run in the mornings. Granted it doesn’t raise the most cash, but its put a smile on people’s faces and it’s something different.
So I’m all for donating to charity, I’m all for doing my bit. But I like it when there’s some effort behind the fundraising. I don’t like being pressured into anything, and donating money is the same. I always feel hard-hearted when I say no, but I’m not exactly well-off, I do my bit for charities close to my heart, and I spend time supporting their causes.
I’m not going to ask what you think of donating to charity, because (in case you haven’t guessed) I feel its a highly personal subject. So all I’ll say is – have a good day!