Sunday, December 25, 2011

Giving this Christmas

One of the many things you won’t be able to ignore at this time of year is the tin-rattlers, the bucket shakers and the direct-debit collectors who line the high streets and stalk train station entrances, fishing for donations.

I don’t think there’s probably a good way to encourage people to give; whatever your methods, there will always be some who find it intrusive and aggravating. But sometimes charities do not help themselves.

When, on a three hundred metre stretch of Kentish Town High Street, there are three World Wildlife Fund fundraisers, who make it possible for you to be approached three times in less than three minutes – then you’re taking the p***.

I won’t be giving them any money I think*. Nor will I be giving money to the children’s charity, shaking buckets outside East Croydon station who thought they’d illuminate the evening for commuters by playing Christmas songs out of a small stereo system. As I passed it was playing “Rock ‘N Roll Christmas” by Gary Glitter – not exactly an appropriate choice.

I’m happy to give money to charity. But I think I’ll reserve it for charities whose fundraisers are more tactful, and who act as adequate ambassadors for their cause.

* although in part that's because I prefer to give to people charities.