Ranty Friday – People Who Begrudge Charity

waitroseWhen it comes to charity, everyone has those that are close to their heart; in our case, we tend to give to animal charities, I do Race for Life every year in aid of Cancer Research and our local NICU unit, which cared for Sausage after she was born, always gets a donation if we see a collection. Husband and I have also adopted both a lowland gorilla and a Bengal tiger on Sausage’s behalf from WWF and once those adoptions expire, she’s told us she wants us to sponsor a dolphin, a snow leopard and a donkey next time.

If you’ve ever shopped in Waitrose, you might have noticed that they have a token collection system for local charities. Each shopper is given a green token with their shopping and a box is placed by the exit with three choices of charity or cause for shoppers to choose from. At the end of a month, the percentages of tokens in each of the boxes is worked out and the total gift is apportioned between the three charities. Causes vary from big, well known charities, specific wards in our local hospital and, as of the last week, three local nurseries which need help towards toys, repairs and learning resources.

Being a bit of a disorganised shopper, I tend to get things as and when we need them, rather than doing one huge weekly shop, which means that I go to the supermarket at least three times a week and in this time, the attitudes of other shoppers have really shocked me.

Rather than looking at the three nurseries who are politely asking for help and deciding which one they’d rather the donation went to, I’ve seen several people tuck their token back into their purse or wallet and walk away, dissatisfied with the choices of cause. I won’t even go into the fact that it’s nonsensical, given the fact that its worked on percentages of a whole, meaning that each cause will still get the same portion of the cash. The thing that has shocked me is people’s begrudging nature.

Waitrose have chosen which three causes to help at this time, causes which they believe are worthy of help, and they aren’t asking anyone for any money, they’re simply asking for people’s opinion on how they should divvy up the donations that they make. The people who put their coins back in their purses have stooped to a whole new level of begrudging by not placing their plastic token into a box and it absolutely amazes me.

I can only assume that the refusal to help three local nurseries comes from the same place as the dirty looks that old people give mothers trying to navigate their way around with a buggy – it’s like they’ve completely forgotten that they once had kids and had to face the every day challenges that life brought. Surely, if their kids were at nursery and they needed funding, they’d have been willing to give their token then?

As I said, most people have their ‘favourite’ charities to which they’ll give their time and money and I understand that they’ll go out of their way to help charities which are close to their hearts, over and above others which aren’t, but I simply cannot understand (or stomach, if I’m honest) the thought that people can be so begrudging and mean when it’s not even their own money they’re spending.

What do you think? Am I being too judgmental, or would this behaviour bug you too?

12 thoughts on “Ranty Friday – People Who Begrudge Charity

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  3. This does shock me, because as you say it’s not their money they have to give away. They just need to place a “vote” with their token.
    But having fundraised like a demon for a local playgroup which my boys used to go to, I know that many people don’t think local causes are as needy as a charity fighting cancer or world hunger. People are so judgemental. I think they reckon playgroups/nurseries are just raising funds to give the kids treats in the form of trips out etc, when many are desperate for basic equipment (but who would begrudge little ones a treat anyway?)
    I try to spread our donations across a lot of charities. Even though we have our favourites, I never begrudge a quid to someone rattling a tin for a good cause.

  4. Cannot believe that people can be so mean. What are they going to lose just by dropping the token into a box? Nothing. In fact, last week when I was shopping in Waitrose with my kids they asked for the green counters and decided where to drop them. When I asked them how they had made their decision, they said that they chose the one with the least tokens so that is would be fair.

  5. Totally with you! We always try and put the token in the box for the local charity if we can, but I saw a lady last week hand her token back to the assistant because ” I doubt any of them really need help – all on benefits no doubt”

  6. They have this system in Asda too, and I always read the different charity descriptions and put the token in the one I want to support the most.
    If shopping with the two small people, we get two tokens so they can choose one each to put in with no squabbling. 🙂
    Really surprised that there are people out there who do as you described, that’s incredibly mean spirited!
    I could understand if they had to part with money, as not everyone’s willing or able to do that.
    Putting a token in requires no spending! Some strange, mean people out there.

  7. That makes me really sad, but at least it is done as a percentage of the pot so the charities still get their money even if there are some people who don’t seem to think the causes are worthy enough. I used to shop in Waitrose a lot and I noticed that they always tended to group the causes so you would have a month with three big charities or a month with three community projects etc. I’m pretty sure that they do it so that the smaller causes don’t miss out, if they were to put a big cancer charity up against the local nursery needing new learning resources then the nursery would lose out every time.

    What really irks me is that these stingy grumps are usually the first people to complain that the community has gone to pot, perhaps if they were to support local causes a little more then things would be better. I for one am always happy when I see that the charities are local causes and I love the fact that Waitrose has helped so many of the local schools, scout groups, play areas, hospices, care homes and even the WI to get much needed funds that they would otherwise struggle to raise.

  8. Wow.

    I am really shocked that people do that! I don’t go to Waitrose often, I don’t have one near me but when I lived in Bournemouth it was my “go to” as we only had a Sainsbury’s Local or Tesco Express, meaning that actually our local Waitrose worked out cheaper. I always took my time over choosing which cause in order to pick the one closest to me. If I didn’t feel an affiliation with any then I would randomly drop in.

    Seriously shocked. What use are those green tokens to us outside of that donation box?!

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