Saturday, 8 August 2015

Soap Box Warning

I got this in the post yesterday.

A thank you for doing Live Below the Line earlier this year.  It was a letter, a certificate ...

 ... and a glossy brochure telling me all about the work done by Action Against Hunger.  

Yes, it did contain a plea for funds and a form to fill in to set up a direct debit, BUT and this is a great big BUT, I did not raise funds to be spent on postage, on paper and on printing magazines, I raised money to help in my small way, to try and stop some, any people being hungry in any way it was possible to help them.

Needless to say I will not be raising money for them again.  I only hope that some of your, and that includes family, friends, and the lovely readers of my blog, hard earned money went to where it was supposed to go.

This is from someone who has worked in the charity sector for years and knows that some money has to be spent on fundraising and paying staff to do this work, but it does not have to be spent on unnecessary fripperies.

I do not, and never will support the charities that send me begging letters, send me free pens, and even in one case sent me FOUR letters all with a five pence coin stuck to them, that was twenty pence profit I made, perhaps twenty pence that some poor child dropped into a collection box from his spending money!!  

And as for all the leaflets with the poor donkeys, horses, dogs, cats. tigers, abused children etc etc that clutter up every magazine that I get on subscription, if you stopped printing millions of leaflets you might be able to help the very animals and people that you spend so much time photographing.

And breathe ......

On a lighter note .... do you think this is fashion sense in ANY meaning of the word.
Look at little Suky's face in the left hand corner of the photograph, it says it all.

" Dad ... you've been tangoed!! "

Sue xx


  1. The thing I hate the most is charity collectors - not homeless people, but bonafide charity collectors - who accost you in the street, either rattling a collection tin in your face or trying to browbeat you into filling out a direct debit form. I loathe them with a passion, it's like you're being mugged, there's absolutely no way they'll ever get a penny out of me with tactics like that.

    It's good to see that someone else's hubby has as much fashion sense as mine! ;-)

  2. I couldn't agree more with everything in this post (sorry lovely hubby!) . I now support just two charities and if I'm begged for money outside Sainsbugs I state that I already support two. :(
    I said to my miss 19 the other day that miss 16 looked like she'd been tangoed and they didn't have a clue what I was on about! Lol. I think we must be showing our age :D
    Happy weekend x

  3. I completely agree regarding charities---aren't they supposed to disclose the percentage they actually collect that goes to food? Your garlic looks good!

  4. So orange is the new, Orange?

    Just cancelled one DD as they kept asking me to donate more.Water Aid is the only one I donate to now. The Red Cross pens, bookmarks, note books and coasters must cost them a pretty penny

    1. I had a small but longstanding DD with a charity that I kept up even after redundancy and other financial difficulties. I eventually cancelled as I was fed up with them calling to ask for more money. That was a few years back but they still send me books of raffle tickets to sell despite me ever selling any in the past!!

  5. When I was a student I started supporting three charities, and almost forty years later still support all of them! Hopefully I will always be in a position where I can still help them.
    Occasionally I will donate in cases of emergency, e.g. Nepal earthquake, but as a general rule, it's just my chosen three, none of whom send out glossy brochures, thankfully!
    I'm with Sooze, I loathe being accosted in the street, and firmly but politely refuse to donate......if they persist, the politeness vanishes PDQ!
    Just a tiny bit of legal info for Sooze and others who get bothered outside shops;
    Street Fundraisers must not:
    •stand within 3m of a shop doorway, cash machine, pedestrian crossing or station entrance
    •sign up anyone to a direct debit who, due to illness, disability, drugs or drink, is unable to give informed consent
    •approach members of the public who are working, such as tour guides or newspaper vendors
    My average stride is 75cm, so if I can reach them in less than four paces from a shop doorway, cash machine etc, they are informed that they are in breach of the Law and need to move back! It doesn't make them very happy being told, but it doesn't make me happy being accosted whilst shopping either!
    Lovely Hubby looks great, right up to the minute fashion wise, spot on as far as colour is concerned, just wonderful.....oh, no, sorry, it's not 1975 anymore :-)

    1. I'm not if this is right but believe they are also not allowed to rattle their collection tins/boxes at you as this constitutes begging and is against the law?

    2. Interesting to read this as the other day we had a charity collector come to our
      door despite 3 'no collectors" signs on our front gate. He claimed that as a charity
      collector he was permitted by law to do this. After I told him off, I did what I have
      done on similar occasions: emailed the charity involved and complained. To
      their credit, they emailed back with an apology and said that their collectors are
      told not to doorknock houses that have signs posted. I can only imagine he was on

    3. They're not permitted to rattle tins/boxes aggressively! They must not cause annoyance or act in an intimidating manner!
      Of course all of the above are open to interpretation, but basically they're allowed to rattle tins gently but are not permitted to step in front of people to bar their path.
      Collectors should remain stationary, you can approach them, they cannot approach you.
      They should not be within (usually) 25 metres of any other collector, there are exceptions to this rule, but generally it applies.
      Barbara, they are not allowed to approach your front door, or even enter your drive/path as they must not enter private property without prior permission. Again there are a few exceptions to this rule, but they must have a licence from your Local Authority, and not many do!
      One fun thing that really, really annoys 'chuggers' (charity muggers) is to play games with them...if they look as though they are approaching you, move slightly further away from them, see if they follow, if they do, tell them they're breaking the law and to back off! Or, even better, if there's a seat nearby, sit down, they are absolutely not allowed to approach you if you're seated!
      DS and I used to have lots of fun 'chugger baiting' in Chester! It's cruel, but if they stick to the letter of the law we can't and won't tease them!
      It's difficult, as charities are short of cash and rely on donations, but we all have the right to go about our daily lives without being plagued by people rattling tins in our faces!

  6. couldnt agree more with your sentiments...makes you wonder it really does also celeb endorsements annoy the hell out of me...stepping away from their multimillion lifestyles for a second to make themselves feel better

  7. Good commentary on the non-profits. And as for the orange workout least he appears to be trying to work out!

    1. Haha ... perhaps I would turn a blind eye (or maybe wear sunglasses!!) if it were a wor out outfit, but it's a 'dossing around the house and blind the wife with colour outfit ' ;-)

    2. Does he think it has sex appeal, lol?

  8. The concentration on Suky's face is priceless.

  9. I think your Darling Hubby and my late DH would have understood eac other perfectly! :}
    Here in the states there closed bins in almost every parking lot with the name of well known charities painted on them. One of our local tv stations checked them out and found these are placed by for-profit businesses who sell the donations in their thrift stores. The charity has given them permission to use their name for 2-3 pennies on the pound or dollar. Needless to say, I will not donate to either the bin or the charity! Feel as you about the letters , prize giveaways, etc.
    Great post.

  10. I, too, am a bit soap box-ey when it comes to charity. I worked for a number of charites whilst temping or on a full time basis whilst living in London. I will not give to tin-shakers, that is not permitted as one of the other comments mentioned, I will not give to the "just £2" ads on the tv because you KNOW they will call you, post begging letters to you etc. Giving to charity is a choice and not something to be guilt-tripped into doing. I agree that money can be spent irresponsibly by charities. I worked for a cancer charity in London for about three years and have lots of views on fundraising,from graduates coming to work in the post room just because it looks good on their cv, targetting very middle class people with very middle class money making projects and a phrase that was used by a member of a marketing team once slong the lines of "put the puppy on the front" and I have to say I very much dislike being collared, if they get near me that is, by street fundraisers and that horrible phrase, "hi guys have you got a moment?" I think I've said enough.

  11. For one afternoon a year for the last few years I've done (and mostly enjoyed) a 2-3 hours stint collecting in our local (very small) town centre for thel Rotary club Santa appeal. We all have to wear high vis. jackets,(over any costume that we choose to wear), we're not allowed to shake our collecting tins, approach people, though we can direct the children to where santa is. Owing to the narrowness of our pavements it is quite difficult to stand the regulatory distance from shop doors, but we do our best to keep out of everyone's way. The collection organiser has a list of who is collecting when, (a minimium of three at any one time) and we must all have cards. It may be the time of year, but the vast majority of people are very generous, and happy to see us. We all wish everyone who speaks to us (donating or not) Merry Christmas. I would not do it if I felt that I was annoying/upsetting people. Chris

  12. Chris, It's not people such as yourself that get us angry. It's lovely at Christmas to see people dressed up and collecting for charities. I've taken part in such things myself over the years.
    What we're talking about is being able to get out of the supermarket doors without being accosted, dash for a bus in big cities without having to weave our way around people rattling tins at us, open our post without someone attempting to send us on a guilt trip!
    I'm sure nobody minds at all seeing folk dressed up and collecting for local charities at specific times of the year, it's the really big organisations that bother us, the ones that send their management on 'fact finding' trips which cost thousands of pounds, all of which is taken from monies donated by the public!
    If all collectors behaved as your Rotary club members do, we wouldn't have any problems, but you are, unfortunately in the minority!

  13. I ignore all begging letters in the post, I make my charitable donations as a once a year substantial amount when I can afford it. They will not get any more out of me.

    I used to work for a charity, fundraising in schools, 20 hours a week at minimum wage. Not a straight 4 hours a day for 5 hours, but as and when I could get to speak to the headmasters. I often worked more hours than I got paid for. They had a regional dinner and conference booked at a posh hotel in Leeds, and it was all free. I said I wouldn't go unless I could pay for my meal. It didn't feel right to be wasting the money I had collected, from families that couldn't afford it. Some of those kids put a lot of effort into it to ask all their friends and family, I felt it was disgusting for the money to be used to pay for my food, and I refused to go. The event still went ahead, but I had to make my point. I left soon after that.

    Chuggere, I hate therm. If they ask me I say, no, I'm not paying your wages.

    1. What I always do with the begging letters is not open them (it's usually
      easy to tell what they are), write "refused, return to sender" on the
      front and send them back postage due. In Australia, at least, that seems
      to get them off your list.

    2. Oops I meant get YOU off THEIR list!

    3. Yes I do that, too, Barbara. (Also do the same with credit card companies!)

  14. Sue, your husband looks fantastic in orange! It is my favourite colour, and he obviously has the balls (ha, ha) to wear this!

  15. I feel embarrassed that I never thought about the cost of printed items for charity organisations. I'll definitely be paying more attention to that. My favourite organisations are ones that work on building their online presence and are very transparent with their costs. Hopefully you find a charity that suits you more in the future.

  16. Totally agree with you Sue, they are the same all over the whole world.
    I am now much more aware of charities & how they spend their money, or rather our money.

  17. I don't like getting multiple mailings either, but ACF Intl is a top-rated charity that meets stringent standards and claims to spend only 2% of its budget on fundraising:

  18. My friend told me how she used to have a monthly direct debit for a well-known dogs' charity. She used to regularly receive a glossy newsletter but stopped her donation when they showed off their very expensive new offices. She said she honestly thought her money was going towards the dogs' welfare not a brand new office! The other evening we had three chuggers from a children's charity come down our residential cul-de-sac. Needless to say I found this very intimidating and I won't be giving them anymore money!

  19. I don`t like the cold calling of chuggers, so whenever I find one on my doorstep I do apologize for not donating as I believe that charity begins at home. I`d rather help my own family members out with cooking a meal for them or I donate some spare tins to my local Food Bank to help the needy folk in my own neighbourhood. At least that way I`m totally sure the donations given all reach where it was intended.

  20. boo, hiss, I once had a man scream at me loudly, and tell me I was judging him because i would not give him money, and after he asked if I was a Christian.
    We do have the right to say no, as well as yes.
    Your husband is glowing, orange! grin


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