Charity hard sell won’t work for me

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

Well the tinsel has hardly been put away and already it would seem everyone is talking bikinis.

With the weather we’ve had in the last few weeks it’s no wonder that people are yearning for sunshine and every commercial break on TV seems to be urging me to book a holiday.

But I’d like to get all the boxes of chocolates I received for Christmas consumed before I start worrying about what I’m going to look like lying on a beach.

Who said beached whale?

I know that if I didn’t eat all the leftover mince pies, shortbread and sweeties it would be half the battle when I do try to squeeze into a swimsuit but I was brought up in the days when you were told to clear your plate.

I also remember my old mum telling me to eat my dinner because there were starving children in Africa who would be grateful for it. My response was that they could gladly have the stew because I hated it!

But that’s another thing that is on the TV all the time now, charity adverts pleading with us to send a few pounds to help small children with terrible disabilities and badly treated donkeys.

Now I’m a firm believer in giving what you can, but is there anything worse than as you’re about to shovel in a forkful of your favourite chicken chow mein for some image of a starving youngster to fill the screen.

Sometimes I feel that if I was to give to every charity request then I would be the one in need of help because I would be penniless.

Were you like me one of those who gave money at the start of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow? By sending a simple text message you donated £5 for the children’s charity Unicef.

It raised well over £3 million which was amazing, but what I didn’t like was the follow up phone calls I started to get from someone sitting in a call centre – who I bet wasn’t a volunteer – urging me to part with more cash.

I’ll choose who and when I give thank you very much. But I realise that some people, particularly the elderly, might feel pressurised into giving money, they perhaps can’t always afford.

When I’m deciding who to donate my hard earned cash to in 2016 I’ll choose a charity or cause that means something to me, preferably one that is 
local or helped someone I know. Hard sell by those people who accost you in the street or some fancy advertising booklet through the post will do nothing more than strengthen my resolve to make my donation elsewhere.