Give this one a miss if you've got something important to do in the next half hour - it does go on a bit ...
In an ideal world we wouldn’t need charities of any kind, but this world is anything but ideal.
We’ve got a nasty, cruel streak that makes us behave toward animals and defenceless people - old or young in unforgivable ways so there are - sadly, much needed charities for them.
Then there are the less fortunate among us with disabilities who need help from charities - but why do they, why does a deaf blind child need to rely on charity? What is wrong with society if they can't get proper government funding?
The most bizarre charities in my opinion are for Cancer Research and Alzheimer's etc, they should never need charity. Then there are our Lifeboats - come on, we live on a tidgy island surrounded by lots of wet stuff! Why are so many ESSENTIAL SERVICES reliant on charity?
There are natural disasters that obviously need money, is there an emergency disaster fund waiting in the wings, slowly amassing interest in the banks - or do they rely on us giving generously after the event? Hmm, yes, now we've got onto banks, why do top bankers get such huge bonuses when they are so obviously crap at their jobs if they need bailing out? Another charity boost there I think.
The underdeveloped countries need charity, they always have, but when will they catch up with the rest of us? Is it just a case of luck where we’re born? Is it down to the climate that dictates whether or not countries are underdeveloped or is it greedy dictators that won’t let their people develop themselves? Or is it that age old problem - arguments over who owns what land and you must believe in my God or else!? Even worse, are we in the developed world somehow exploiting them?
I certainly don’t know enough to be able to say but what I do know is that I want to give to charity - but here’s the rub - which charities?
Some people won't give to charities to help outside their own country, feeling that they may just as well throw the money away because at the end of the day the third world situation never seems to improve. I understand their reasons and it's their choice. I do give to these charities, I can't stand the thought of any child living in poverty and drinking dirty water - anywhere.
On the other hand, I will not hand over a single penny to any charity that relies on overpaid, egotistical ‘celebrities’ giving generously of their TIME - excuse me - they're giving their time - give me a break - they prance about, trying to out-stupid each other and we're meant to find it funny and hand over our money, what's wrong with their money? Bugger their time.
Another question - how much of our money actually reaches where we want it to go? How much is taken out for advertising, administration costs etc? I used to donate to the RSPCA monthly by text until I found out how much of it they actually received - £1.80 out of every £3 donated, you're not telling me that it costs the phone companies an administration fee of £1.20 to hand over the money to charity! Haven't they heard of charity??
Now, I’ve gone against the express wishes of my eyes [but I spared my ears] and watched adverts the last couple of weeks [in the name of ahem, research] for this post which has been simmering on the back-boiler for a while - just to work out how much it would cost me to give monthly to every charity I see advertised on the telly.
Well, if I were to give all that I wanted - mostly to animal charities, I’d be left at the end of each month with the price of a cup of tea for myself and so becoming Langley Mill's ‘bag lady’ before my time. Therefore, because I’m so overwhelmed - by these ‘begging commercials’ hmm, maybe not begging as they actually TELL you how much they’d like us to give daily/weekly/monthly/yearly - so I end up giving NOTHING at all this way.
I’m not mean, I’d gladly give at least £10 a month to charities but I’d like to be able to find a website that lists all the charities, lets you tick the ones you want to help and then set up a direct debit to the effect. I know £10 won’t go far with all the charities I’d tick, but imagine if thousands of us were to do the same thing, it’d soon add up and we’d have the feeling that we were doing something instead of the helplessness I know I feel when I see yet another charity advertised that I can’t afford to give to.
Ideally, I'd set up a website myself and advertise it and get pots of money to pass on to charities, but I wouldn't know where to start and I would probably be arrested after two months for embezzlement. Simply because my cat walked across the keyboard at the wrong moment - I've had one heck of a job typing this let me tell you! I keep having to shove the slidy out keyboard thingy in quick before she either deleted it, posted before I was ready or added her own unique thoughts.
I try to do my bit, I frequent charity shops, I buy most of my books from them in Skegness. When I'm at home I fill charity bags with my best clothes and shoes ... then I look down at my own ensemble - ‘compost heap’ are the words that spring to mind. Yes, they're my ‘working clothes’ but the rest of the stuff I wear isn't much better, the reason being that they're not good enough to send to charity shops!?! I really must get rid of this ‘bag lady’ mentality and wear my new clothes, instead of hanging them in the wardrobe to admire before putting them in a charity bag - with the labels still on - six months later. And I know I'm not alone in this - am I?
Last night I saw the saddest sight - again on TV, but not a charity advert showing animals suffering this time. No, it was hundreds of thousands of £’s going up in smoke - over £300,000 in London alone. I’m not a party pooper, everyone who’s read my blog knows my love of fireworks and all things that sparkle [yes, this does include frost] but was it really necessary for every big city in the world to try to put on a bigger and better firework display than each other?
When London's display started with Big Ben's bongs I was impressed [ooh, goody fireworks!], but after five minutes I got increasingly disappointed and then distinctly agitated as I could only think how much better that money could have been spent, then we listened to some daft woman saying how incredible it was - ‘They were only fireworks love!’ I can remember a time when we all listened to Big Ben at midnight New Years Eve/Day and were satisfied, the Millennium has got a lot to answer for!
I know there are many other ways that we waste money [Christmas for one big example] and I wouldn't for a moment suggest that we stop or we may as well throw in the towel and roll over now, but in this case, if each country agreed to cut their fireworks display by half and give whatever [mostly taxpayers money] they saved to worthwhile causes then maybe we could all feel we were going into a Great New Year …