Sunday, 23 September 2012

Charity Becomes Big Business

Yesterday I was asked to donate to an Animal Rescue Charity, which I did, because I care a great deal about the welfare of animals, such as Dogs, Cats, Birds etc, and can't stand to see cruelty of any kind towards them. Shortly after making the donation, say 200 yards later, I was stopped by someone who almost jumped out at me, asking if I wanted to make monthly donations to the Red Cross Charity by Direct Debit. I explained that I couldn't do it. I would make a small donation then but they explained they would only take donations via direct debit.

A short time after that, I was stopped and asked if I wanted to donate to a children with cancer charity, again, by a monthly sum, via direct debit. No donations. All of these charities are good causes, that is beyond doubt, but the simple fact is you cannot donate to every charity under the Sun. Even if at times I might feel a shithouse for doing so. Autism and Animal charities are my favourites along with one or two others and they are the first ones I always make donations to.

I can still remember being horrified seeing Michael Burke's report on the Ethophian Famine as a kid, when watching the news. This led to the release of the single "Feed the world" by Band AID, and then the famous Live AID concert at Wembley, masterminded by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, on the 13th July following year, which I can vaguely remember. The USA also held a concert as well for the same charity. In late 1989, famine threatened Ethopia again, and this time a new BAND AID was formed, led by Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman. At Christmas 2004 the single was released for the 3rd time in 20 years, and each time go to number and rightfully so. However, it makes me wonder where the money is going with issues such as famine relief when it repeatedly occurs after vast donations of money? Is it going into the pockets of corrupt dictators in Africa? Is it not going to the people who need it and who the donations were intended for?

It isn't necessarily corrupt dictators who embezzele money or charitable donations intended for the starving or poor in their country. Sometimes, those you want to help or support don't receive it as your donations can become gobbled up in administration and costs.

A lot of famous or non-famous people do charity work behind the scenes and don't feel the need to tell everybody about it or to boast to all and sundry. I admire those types of people. However, you get many famous people, and some who aren't famous, who make sure that the TV cameras are there so they can be seen doing charity work, or in the case of famous individuals, they do it to live down a scandal or get back into the publics good books after a scandal or crisis, or if I am going to be really cynical, to get their MBE or OBE or knighthood. I have no time for egotistical charity workers who seek fame, praise, gongs or glory or do it to make themselves look good or better.

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