I am sure you have your preferred charity and often find yourself giving money to organisations that are close to your heart. For me, it's the National Autistic Society, Epilepsy Association and the Guide Dogs. But if we allowed each and every sad looking puppy, panda, child and poverty stricken family to pull at our heart strings, we would find we had nothing left to give. Last week I abruptly ended a phone call after a guy from a charity I have supported for only twelve months infuriated me. For confidential reasons (not to mention libel) I won't name the charity but the caller was asking me to increase my monthly subscription. In fact, he was asking me to double it. He was extremely arrogant, not at all like one would expect a charity worker to sound and just assumed that I would be happy to agree there and then.
I refused. But it didn't stop him trying to talk me round. "Why don't you think about it?" he asked. "I have," I replied, "my answer is no." He continued, "if you increased your direct debit to £20 per month that would help us much more than the £10 per month you currently give." After hearing that, I put the phone down, then cancelled the direct debit. I refuse to let people tell me what I should and shouldn't be doing with my money, determined to make me feel guilty for not adhering to their request. When you see an advert on the television saying "give £2 a month", don't you think, £2 a month, what the hell will that buy? It's getting all too easy for charities to send out forms then make endless phone calls beckoning you to feel bad for only giving the measly amount of £2.
Last year I stopped buying toilet rolls from a charity. I used to buy them in bulk and the last lot I got were the worst quality I have ever had the misfortune to experience. I complained about them but didn't hear anything. In the past six months I have had repeated phone calls from the charity asking me to place another order and insisting the quality has been improved after I pointed out how poor the last lot were. I have told the charity on at least three occasions to take me off their books yet I still receive the phone calls. When the Farmer's mum died, people made donations of which the total amount was in the region of £400 to a very well-known Christian charity, yet no one received a letter of thanks. And exactly the same happened when his dad died, only we chose a different charity. The same thing happened when my grandma died, too. I don't think this sets a very good example for charity work. And I also wonder, if all the money raised does actually go to the needy, or is some of it distributed into administrator's pockets? We really don't know, do we.