Saturday, 2 June 2012

To give or not to give?

Today was my local MS branch Flag day, which meant numerous volunteers were dotted all round Croydon, Purley and Croydon in the hope to create awareness of the MS Society and to raise some dosh.
Flag Day of the Croydon Branch of the  Multiple Sclerosis Society Image taken from the Croydon MS Society Branch Website

 I spent a couple of hours collecting for them last year and I did say never again because as much as I am happy to volunteer and help with things, I just felt uncomfortable collecting money in that way, not that I disagree with it. When one of the ladies who organises things called me up and asked if I would do it again, I just couldn't say no. What's a couple hours of feeling awkward in the aid of raising money for a fantastic cause.  So bright and early at 9 this morning Spike and I went to Coulsdon High Street to collect money.  I was a bit concerned at first because it was pretty quiet but as things got busier the donations came in.  I was very pleased that the residents of Coulsdon were a generous bunch. So a VERY big

It's interesting watching people go by when your collecting for a charity, people kind of react to you in the sane way but there's different types of people. You get - 

Type a, the person who purposely avoids looking at you.

Type b, the person who is just busy or rushing on by so genuinely don't see you.

Type c, the person who has no cash on them and smile apologetically whilst patting there pockets.

Type d, the person who goes out of their way to come over and donate their change.

Type e, the person who kind of feel obliged as they walk by.

Now none of these people are wrong (especially those donating) it's just interesting observing them.  The reason I dislike standing and collecting money is because I think people get fed up of seeing volunteers hanging around high streets and shops asking for donations.  Actually I think it has a lot to do with the numerous people you can encounter all along your local high street, hoping for your bank details for regular payments to a charity. these people get paid and Hubby has informed me they are known as 'chuggers' or less kindly as 'charity muggers'.

I know how annoying it is as frequently in Sutton High Street near where I work there are several people strategically place along the high street asking for you to sing up for regular donations etc.  The picture above is a bit extreme but it can feel like that, don't you think?  It's a shame because I know a lot of these are working for very good causes but it can all get a bit much.  Personally I find the chuggers irritating and I avoid them but if I see someone quietly standing quietly with a collection box, I am more likely to donate some money.  Although I have been caught by one of the chuggers before and I felt pressured into supplying my details.  On reflection although it was a worthy charity, there are other charities I would rather support hence I cancelled the direct debit   At the time I would happily of donated some money as a one off but I didn't actually want to get caught up with regular donations but felt obliged to.  Maybe that's my issue and not the charity worker.  We can't all support with money every charity going can we.  When I googled the word 'chuggers' lots of things came up but follow the link to a recent article in The Independant.

 I enjoyed it a little more this year because I chatted to some lovely people and several of the people donated because they knew someone with MS.  A few people came over mainly to say hello to Spike and one man said I was very shrewd to bring my dog along to capture peoples attention.  That wasn't my plan, honestly, he was there to keep me company...  

I said this last year but I'm not sure if I will do it next year, I will try and volunteer for something else instead but if they need me to do it I shall of course.  One of these years I shall get my butt into gear and do something for National MS week but this year my mind was on other more personal issues, but there's always next year.

Before I go, it would be good to hear your opinions of people collecting money for charity and chuggers.  Is there certain charities you choose to donate too? Do you avoid chuggers?  Have you collected money yourself, what was your experience like?

1 comment:

  1. Just found this one Kate. Glad you had a good day, fantastic thing to do. I've never been out to fundraise, but unfortunately I am one that does the 'pretending not to see'!
    I got caught by a chugger when my boys were small, I was pushing the double pram when someone from the NSPCC approached me...what could I say?
    To this day I still pay the £5 a month because how can you cancel? Not that I want to, it's a very good cause, but sometimes when money's tight it does look a likely candidate for the chop!
    Another great post x


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