Am I Mean?

This is just a quick post about something that irritates the hell out of me.  Door to Door Charity collectors!  I’m cooking the dinner, playing with my children, working or simply doing nothing, minding my own business in my own home.  The doorbell rings and I drag myself away from whatever I’m doing. To be greeted with;

“Hello Madame, I’m collecting on behalf of X charity”.  They will then go on to explain that said charity provides vital support for sick and disabled children or people with terminal cancer or some equally very worthy cause.  The explanation is designed to make you feel guilty if you dare to not go running immediately for your purse to dig out a few coins.

Well, I’m afraid I AM that person who doesn’t go running to the change jar.  I have no problem with the nature of many of the worthy causes, but I DO object to people knocking on my door with the intention of collecting money based on a guilt trip.  And I tell them so.  I am polite but very firm.  I DO NOT give to people who knock on the door.

Don’t get me wrong.  I do support charities, I work for one, I volunteer for another, we donate money through my OH’s payroll scheme and I will choose to respond to other appeals etc. but any charity that feels they can knock on my door and play the ‘guilt trip’ goes down in my estimation.

So, am I mean?  Do you run for the change jar / kids piggy bank or your purse? and if you do pay up do you do it willingly or do you do it because it would feel too awkward not to and you don’t like to say ‘no’?

I’d love to know am I a total meanie?

About Violets Diary

Visually impaired Mum, with VI hubby, 2 disabled children. Disability campaigner, novice blogger and tweeter. Trying to put the world to rights and share our journey and positive stories.
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11 Responses to Am I Mean?

  1. Karen says:

    I only give at the door to charities that I otherwise support, and the same in the street. It might come across as hard but I prefer to make my own choices and not be coerced by the “guilt trip”

    • It’s the guilt trip that really annoys me as I’m sure there are many people who don’t have the strength to say ‘No’ and that’s what these charities rely on. It actually puts me off giving to those causes at all. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  2. You might have seen on my blog the other week that a (very nice) lady came knocking asking for a donation towards curing premature babies of “diseases such as autism”. My husband (who is not my son’s father) told her “Actually we have an autistic son, but he’s not ill”. She apologised and walked away.

    Then there was the time that Christian Aid called round looking for donations to help the flood victims in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury. Now, I know that Christian Aid is a very worthy cause (even though I’m not a Christian – I still know that they work wonders around the globe) but I was born in Cheltenham and my family all still live there – so I was able to tell them that I had first-hand information that everything that could be done had already been done.

    No, you’re not a meanie. You choose your charities carefully and won’t be made to feel guilty if you don’t give money to a stranger with a bucket.

    In this house, charity beggars will be firmly but politely turned away. It’s the salespeople who need to watch it, because I bite!

    • We get a man who comes round every year collecting for ‘the blind’ – he always goes away when he sees my husband, but it irritates me that they move on to the next house peddaling those messages and many people either feel obliged to give because they don’t know how to say ‘no’. I’m also with you about negative messages it can give about disabled people, but I guess that’s a whole debate, possibly for future posts :).
      Thanks, as ever, for your comment Mrs T xx

      • There has only been one charity caller that we actually *did* want to sign up for donations there and then – a children’s hospital that cares for the terminally sick, the profoundly disabled and holds regular events to make these kids’ lives a little easier to bear. The lady wanted to know all about my son, and told us that many of the regular outpatients have severe autism and – without that hospital – they wouldn’t have anywhere near the services that they have open to them.

        Unfortunately we simply couldn’t afford it (I’m already a member of The RSPB and Epilepsy Action, as well as making donations to Macmillan Nurses and Cancer Research whenever I can). I hope we’re in a better position should they ever come calling again!

      • I think its hard as some are genuinely good causes. I just don’t like being disturbed at home and asked for money.
        I hope you find out who the hospital is and manage to give them a donation xx

      • I hope I can remember too, because that hospital was so very worthy of regular support and we were both terribly upset that we were unable to sign up to help at the time.

        Also, the girl who stopped by was so nice; she said it wasn’t often that people she called on would actually bother to learn more and ask her about the charity work, and she greatly appreciated spending 20 minutes of her time talking to “Such good people”.

        I do hope that *somebody* filled out a direct debit form for her that day. she was obviously committed to the cause and such a swetheart 🙂

  3. solodialogue says:

    Everyone has their way of donating. Sometimes people need a nudge and so I’m not offended by a solicitation but not at my door! In the mail or online but I live in an isolated area. If someone comes to the door unannounced, the door is not answered unless I know them. End of story.

    I think this may actually scare some elderly people I know who live alone. Door to door solicitation doesn’t happen much around where I live though. Too much road between the doors.

    • We live in the city, so we get quite a lot of people knocking on the door, which I find intrusive. It also bothers me that some people might be scared by it and feel they should donate because they don’t know how to say ‘no’. I guess its a sign of the times that they need to ask for donations, but I think by mail or email is much less intrusive. Thanks for your comment.

  4. mrsshortie says:

    I too dislike charities coming to my door, we don’t have a regular donation set up for any charity at the moment, but we have our few that we have chosen to support and will give to them usually via donation of goods to sell because at the moment that is the only way we can help. I always say it sounds like a very good cause but I can not donate.

    I also dislike being in town and people shouting to you, do you want to donate to a children’s charity etc etc, for some reason it always makes me feel guilty. but I can not support all the good causes.

    • Thanks for stopping by, yes I don’t like being accosted in town either, but I find it worse at home, because that’s my space. I also think a lot of the reason they do it is because many people feel guilty and will donate, which is partly why I wrote this. Its intimidating for many people.

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