Anger · Rant

Enough is enough.

Excuse the dry skin, it’s still healing

Let me start this blog post by saying that I consider myself to be a charitable person. When I was a kid, I went door-to-door selling raffle tickets for Meningitis Trust, as an adult I’ve organised events for Lupus UK, I spent a whole year giving up my Saturdays to work in a Child Contact Centre and back in May I ran Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research. A few weeks ago, I even went and had a black ribbon tattooed on my leg for melanoma at an event organised by one of Husband’s good friends where the proceeds of every tattoo was donated to cancer charities.

But today, I can unequivocally say that I’ve had a gut-full of charity. Whilst walking up the high street to do the banking for my boss, one of those obnoxious charity collectors (who get PAID to fund raise…can you explain the logic of that to me?) stepped towards me and starting shouting her script at me, telling me that it was my responsibility to end poverty in Africa. On account of the fact that a) I didn’t have time to stop and b) I have a moral objection to that type of fundraising, I politely told her that I didn’t have time to stop and carried on walking while she stood behind me muttering.

On the way back down the high street after I had run my errands and much to my complete and utter incredulity, the very same chugger (as I’m reliably informed they’re called) tried to stop me again, this time by physically blocking my path. I told her that she’d already tried to stop me and that I STILL didn’t have the time to stop, only for her to make facetious comments about me as I walked away. Now, is it just me, or does that seem a little bit out of line?

This evening, we had Husband’s father and his wife over for dinner as she’s American and we wanted to give her a nice Thanksgiving dinner and just as they were leaving the telephone rang. I answered and a man introduced himself as a caller from Cancer Research. He thanked me for my money-raising efforts for Race for Life and asked me if I’d had a nice day. Next, he asked why I’d chosen to do it and I explained about Lorraine and how she’d recently lost her fight. He expressed sympathy and proceeded with his spiel, offering me the chance to give £8 a month directly from my bank account. I explained that I couldn’t afford to add to my monthly outgoings this close to Christmas, but said that if he was able to phone back in January that I may be able to contribute. He barreled on (I must add, totally ignoring the fact that I was crying on the other end of the phone, after he decided to tell me about the wonderful new treatments for extending the lives of cancer patients) pushing me to sign up. At this point, Husband had had enough of seeing me upset and told me to put the phone down, so I interrupted the bloke for the third time and told him that I needed to hang up.

As I’ve gone to great lengths to stress, I consider myself to be a charitable soul, giving not just money but also as much time and effort as I can spare too and yet I got off of the telephone this evening feeling as though I’d been completely wrung out by this charity worker. I don’t know if it’s the policy of Cancer Research to treat people this way, and I’d never speak ill of a charity which has done so much, but I really feel that these aggressive methods of fundraising are a step too far. I feel as though I’ve been harangued in my own home, chased up and down the high street and generally treated like shit.

I won’t say that this has put me off of donating to charity, I’ll always give where I can. But I hope someone, somewhere, will read this post and maybe think about the way that they approach people. I don’t deserve to be made to feel guilty and reminded of personal grief. I’m a good person and this isn’t the way to make me part with my cash.

9 thoughts on “Enough is enough.

  1. i agree with everything you have written about here. i have been thinking about blogging about this for some time now but wasn’t sure i ad the blogging balls but i think i will. we have people knock at out door about very 2 months and i have had phone calls and letters!! i have raised money for charity and will continue do so BUT at MY say so in MY time.
    GREAT post Jayne
    ps. didn’t know they were called chuggers!!

  2. It gets me how these people often make comments and judgements about everyone else not being charitable when they are getting paid. I’m putting on a huge mum and baby show next year for Bliss, it’s a hell of a lot of work and there’s nothing in it for me other than knowing I’m doing something good but I’ve still had people knock on my own front door and accuse me of not being charitable when I refuse to hand over my credit card details. It is begging and shouldn’t be allowed.

  3. Sorry to hear you were treated do shittily.

    My mum worked for Help the Aged once, and left when she found out all the staff were getting treats like expensive Christmas hampers. I also work for a Children’s charity and I was paid as I worked not for the fundraising team but for the admin side and a few months after I left I found that they had ousted the guy who hired me, the company director no less, for skimming off the charity donations. Always wondered how he could afford a sports car and lavish lifestyle… Now I know. Utterly shameless!

    Not to mention I was got by a chugged whilst at uni and working 3 jobs just to get by, still agreed a monthly donation, but when I had to cancel my direct debit. I got several letters and a rather threatening call saying that they had stopped receiving my monthly ‘gift’ and urging me to reinstate it otherwise basically the plight of millions would be my fault!

  4. I purposely don’t play the lottery so that I can donate the money directly to charity, and as you know I’ve done my fair share of fundraising and event-taking-part lately so I would begrudge being pestered like this too.

    I’m utterly against people getting PAID to stand on the street or knock on doors fundraising because you feel a sense of moral guilt at saying no to them when they have no knowledge of your personal circumstance or background.

    Such a tragedy that charities have come to this.

  5. Tell me about it. I already donate to cancer research each month, and have done for many years. They once called me to ask for more, very matter of factly as if the money i already donate wasn’t appreciated. I was shocked, stunned and quite the cross-patch. It seems to be their way, though they do a lot of good they are also extremely frustrating.

  6. so sorry you have had to put up with this. you are an amazing person. I was once stopped by one of those peeps to be informed that I obv don’t care about people with cancer to which I said, “Funny that considering I’ve just spent the whole wkend lifting my mother’s head out of the toilet after her chemo treatment.” some people just don’t think at all. xxxxxx hugs xxxx

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