I think Australian charities do a wonderful job, and by no means do I want to undermine what they do, but I really don’t want to donate to every single one.
When I go to the shops, I’m accosted by several people wanting me to donate. These are all worthy charities but unfortunately I can’t donate to them all. It’s hard to say no, but I shouldn’t have to feel bad about it. I had a girl come to my house to get me to donate for one worthwhile cause. She was very convincing and said even a few dollars would help. When I said I had no cash, she said that I could pay with card. I immediately felt bad, thinking well, you got me there. She said that many people choose this option.
It took a bit of convincing to make her see I was not going to donate but afterwards I felt really awful. And it shouldn’t have to be that way: I donate to two charities every month and I also do charity work at my local thrift shop. I am an active community member who cares for others, but does it make me a bad person if I have to say no?
If having people come up to you at the shops or to your house isn’t enough, the phone calls come flooding in too. It’s just a constant charity drive and I’m the first to say look, it’s not OK and I’ve given what I could.
My mum always said to me charity starts at home and that we should look after ourselves and give whatever’s left over. I do that and have always done. I just wish that society wouldn’t make someone feel bad because they don’t donate whenever they’re asked. You don’t know what I or others have gone through, or how little we have in our pockets.
I’d much rather give to a charity I feel strongly about than give money to a charity that can afford to pay people to stand in shopping centres and that have big CBD offices. I want time to select who will get the most of my money and truly benefit from it.
Add that to the lack of regulation of charities in Australia, and it’s no wonder that people can be apprehensive to donate – how do we even know it’s getting to the right people?
That’s my rant… does anyone else feel similar?