At this festive time of year we're all encouraged to think about others less fortunate than ourselves. It's in December more than ever that I feel almost on the verge of guilty when I walk past vendors selling big issue with bags full of shopping and say, "no thank you".
Now, we can't possibly give to every charity ever made, but which one do you give to and why? Is it whichever one is standing on the street to harass you until you give in and give them the sodding two quid to shut them up? Or do you give to the same one every year out of the kindness of your heart? I had an experience yesterday that I was much appalled at, and I wanted to share it with you all.
Now, before I start, I must state that I in no way am saying that charity is a bad thing. I'm all for charity. You only have to read my previous blog posts regarding my volunteering for Oxfam for two major festivals for the gory details. However, I was some what shocked at the series of events I am about to describe.
I was walking up to the local infant school where I was coincidentally undertaking my own charity work by helping accompany 360 four to seven year olds walk round Wollaton Park lake all in aid of When You Wish Upon a Star (told you I'm not a charity snuffer).
On my way up I'd popped into the shop across the road to buy a bite to eat before the walk and as soon as I walked in was stopped by a charity worker behind a table who started his cause with, "I'm not trying to sign you up to anything". I politely listened to the man drone on about paralympics and sport within the disabled sphere for a good five minutes. You can't say he didn't try hard, however asking me what sport I was interested in was a bad line... "none" I answered.
Anyway, after the spiel the man handed me a little badge that I could buy to support the charity, however doing the charity work of my own I had come with only two quid and a pair of gloves to my name, 50p of which I had spent on a co-op finest quality croissant. Oh how guilty I felt now for that.
"I'm sorry", I replied, "but I have come out without my purse as I'm walking for Wish Upon a Star."
"I have one pound fifty", I said, handing the change to the man.
The man turned to his colleague with a look that can only be described as total disgust.
"Well I don't like to sound ungrateful" he said as I waited for the but. It never came, but he swifty pulled out a leaflet showing me how much wheelchairs for playing basketball in cost.
Ten pounds this man wanted me to pay for that little badge.
Now, I don't mean to sound up myself but if you're a charity surely you should be grateful of any money you get. I didn't want the sodding badge, neither did I really have any interest in the charity (no offence). I was more interested in paying this annoying noise in my ear off so that I could get on and do the charity work I had already arranged to do.
I offered the £1.50 which was politely refused by the man after telling me they're here all week if I wanted to pop back in with my bank card. How much did he think I was willing to give!
I finally walked out the shop with a feeling of guilt and annoyance- and I'd only gone in to buy a croissant. Why should I be made to feel guilty? I was willing to give my last pound to that charity and he turned it down. I'll be donating that pound fifty to the school's when you wish sponsorship money instead.
Safe to say I'll be avoiding that shop like the plague for the next week.