Where Charity Ends.

You all know how much I witter on about the damage that the conmen can do when they’re after your money. Clever dodges to make you believe something they’re not. But what about those who really are who they purport to be and yest can still cause untold damage? Author S.J.Sprague contacted me this morning regarding a case that has genuinely horrified me. If you want to skip my take on this go directly to  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11608393/Britains-oldest-poppy-seller-exhaused-by-charity-requests-before-her-death.html   you can get the full story .

Basically, last week an amazing lady of 92 years of age named Olive Cooke ended her life by throwing herself into the Avon Gorge. She was Britain’s Oldest Poppy Seller. Her family have said that charity please were a contributing factor into her death. She was bombarded by letters asking for charitable contributions and her phone rang far more frequently than it should with similar requests. It might be easy to dismiss requests in the mail, though she didn’t like to, but far more difficult to refuse when someone on the phone is outlining the desperate straits of someone. At the time of her death she had almost 30 direct debits from her bank to various charities.

Let me be even more direct here and say that up to 10 telephone calls a day and up to 200 written requests a month led to this death. She had a lot of bank charges levied against her because he account was unable to keep pace with the demands on it. She was in debt which is something that doesn’t usually sit well with the elderly. Obviously the bank would have been  asking for their money which won’t have helped. These Charities seem to have been passing her name, address and telephone number round like a box of chocolates to be shared. Her grandson compared these charities as a group of sharks circling her.

The law says Under the Data Protection Act any charity planning to pass on people’s personal details to a third party must make clear what they intend to do and gain their consent. I wonder whether this was complied with properly or just a little tick box somewhere that says they’ll pass on details to their ‘partners’ unless the box is ticked. Another issue that is worrying annoying is that Fundraising is self regulated  which to my mind means it’s covered by rules but not legislation. That really needs to change. It should be enough for Charities to be restricted to making 2 telephone calls a year to anyone to request a donation and that should cease if they actually set up a direct debit. They should be allowed to continue with mail drops but again, that should cease once a direct debit is in play. They must have databases capable of doing this. It could be different where a person has made a one off donation and not set up a direct debit. But then perhaps calls and mail drops should be restricted to fresh disasters.

It’s obvious that the charities employ PR firms to create adverts to tug at our heartstrings and probably pay big sums to have TV adverts aired. Maybe these are enough and the phone calls should stop altogether. Only you can decide how you feel about that. But, we have a new Government who are not propped up by any other party now and they can make decisions. So, why not ask your MP to look into this situation based on your feelings about it and prevent a similar tragedy from happening to someone else.

My heartfelt commiserations go out to Mrs. Cooke’s family. Perhaps if her case brings about a change in the methods of asking for donations by these charities it will bring them a measure of peace.


Wishing you all a lovely week.


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91 responses to “Where Charity Ends.

  1. What a sad story. I’ve never done direct debits to charities but I have supported animal sanctuaries and Hunt Sabs. These days I prefer to stick to direct charity, giving money to homeless tramps in Spain (yes they really are homeless not just dressing the part) or rescuing dogs off the street.

    Personally I’d ban all the phone calls and mail drops. I was ex D in the UK so neither charities nor double glazing rang, and all the mail drops with free pens got chucked in the bin. I can’t be the only one who did that.

    • I have a DD set up for Marie Curie nurses and for a cancer hospice because of what they did for Julia but I prefer to give when I can to who I want. Disasters, Gurkhas, Homeless and Children’s charities. I’m sure some of my phone calls are from them but they’re just wasting their time.Most mail drops go straight in the bin, especially of they’re asking me to sell raffle tickets for them.
      I’m ex-D too but somehow they still get numbers. (I suspect lists are sold).
      Some people don’t mind calls but they must be limited.
      xxx Massive Hugs Kate xxx

  2. I understand how charities can sometimes go overboard. I had to tell the charity that we sponsor our child through to stop a couple of months ago. I get that there are still children out there requiring assistance and I get that there are new devastating events but when you are still sponsoring a child even when you are both unemployed you have to draw the line somewhere. They did have the grace to apologise.
    Although I have to relate the story of one charity caller one day. I told him that I couldn’t help him and that I already donate to several charities. He replied “Really? Which ones?” in a smart tone of voice. So I told him and then asked to speak with his manager. He hung up on me.

    • You’re quite right Suz. You have to draw the line somewhere or your whole income is out the window and they still want more.I’m glad you told yours it was time to put on the brakes.
      As for the smart-arse, what a shame you didn’t ring back and speak to the manager anyway.The caller obviously needed a swift kick up the rump.
      xxx Sending Huge Hugs to you xxx

      • Very true David. But as you pointed out, many charities use companies to fundraise for them. Unfortunately not everyone is in it for the charity.

  3. I read this too and was horrified. That poor lady must have been so desperate to end her life in that way. I understand that charities are often doing good work and raising money is difficult, but if it is true that they were sharing details with each other about their doners then that is just plain wrong. Heartbreaking for Mrs Cooke and her family, I wish them well.

    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Thank you. I know this is possibly an isolated and extreme case but it can happen again especially where vulnerable elderly people are targeted.
      You’re right it’s heartbreaking.
      xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  4. Good article David. Even though we are on the ‘do not call’ register, we get several calls a month from charities. I have my pat answers that are not lies (usually) and I deal with it that way, but it does get tiring. It’s MY phone and I pay for it for my own convenience, NOT the convenience of others to extract more money from me. A very sad story of Mrs Cooke, who clearly was already contributing to the community. Shame on those who badgered her!

    • You can’t go into a Supermarket these days without someone wanting to sign you up or someone else rattling a tin at you.We don’t need the constant pressure through phone and post too. Quite right it’s your phone and you should be able to decide what calls can come through.
      I hope these charities responsible are held to account and feel the shame of what they’ve done.
      xxx Massive Hugs Ardys xxx

  5. Ugh. This makes me so angry. These days I only give to small charities that actually give all they receive to the needy. I’d love to see an accounting of how much of those direct debits go to ‘administrative costs’.

    • I agree, and must admit I get quite annoyed when I receive post from them complete with free pen or address labels with my name already on or even calendars.. That has to cost money better spent within the charity.
      Here I’ve seen students signing people up on the streets and I know they get a % of the fee for each one so there’s a minimum direct debit for that. How can someone else decide what you should give?
      xxx Humongous Hugs xxx

  6. Ali Isaac

    Oh what a horrible death she chose for herself too. She must have been so desperate. Charities certainly do not seem shy of putting pressure on us, and making us feel guilty if we dont. You cant walk down the street without being constantly accosted by any number of charities, or enter a supermarket, or even stop at a busy junction… they are there in the middle of tbe road knocking on your window and shaking their bucket at you! I hate when they knock at the door and expect me to give my bank details to a random stranger. No. Wont do it. I’ll support who I want to. End of.

    • Quite right Ali. Charity has to be based on where YOU think it should go and by how much you can afford. What we need is a central point with a large collecting container for each charity that you can put in as and when you want. Somewhere like a bank. No more streets or supermarkets where individuals make you feel guilty.
      xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

  7. It’s all despicable… To me, it is little different from “incitement to cause grievous bodily harm” (which is illegal, at least here, and i believe not just illegal but a felony as well).
    Sorry. I seem to keep getting on my Julia Sugarbaker soapbox this morning. 🙂
    Mega hugs my friend.

    • Afraid I don’t know Julia Sugarbaker but don’t apologise to me Sweetie. It’s great that you have such strong feelings about important issues.
      xxx Humongous Hugs xxx

  8. How horrible that poor woman and her family. For those “charities” it’s really about numbers and they simply don’t care who they are hurting as long as they get their donation. Thanks for posting this.

    • You’re right I’m afraid. The money seems to be what is important or there would be a collective conscience about this kind of harassment of people.
      xxx Ginormous Hugs xxx

  9. I’m wondering if some of it is generated by people’s credit cards. We have only used an ATM/Debit card for years, not a charge card, and we don’t get those calls. In the U.S., we had an answering machine on all day, so we could screen our calls. I only give through church as I don’t trust some organizations any more after things I’ve heard and read about. A few people come to the door here, but many are not allowed to come up due to our watchman being downstaiirs all day. I feel so sorry for that poor woman’s family. Hugs to you, David.

    • I also only use a debit card. There are certain forms we fill in online that have telephone numbers as a requirement rather than a choice and I’m sure whoever gets that information must sell lists on. It’s wrong. Telephone numbers should always be a choice for people like me who would never give it out.
      I have a sign by my door forbidding cold callers and pointing out it’s a criminal offence here.in this area.
      xxx Huge Hugs Suzanne xxx

  10. I have stopped supporting a couple of charities in the past for different reasons, one never took their money on time now okay a day or two you know their might be delays but to to take a payment three weeks late when the person should reasonably have expected the money to have gone is pushing it and this happened several times and on the final time they did it I got bank charges because I had moved some money between accounts and they tried to take payment while the money was in transit. The other was one I agreed to pay a certain amount but before that initial payment had even come out I received numerous calls trying to up the amount in the end I said you know what another charity will appreciate what I can afford to give more than you so they are going to get it.

    I also saw something about this case on line where it was pointed out by someone that the people calling had scripts specifically for the elderly and I do not mean that in a good way.

    Huge hugs xxxxx

    • I’m so glad you’re strong enough to decide to end a direct debit order. I’ve also done that and created a new one for another charity. I don’t feel the brunt of that because I don’t answer the phone and they’re reluctant to leave their messages on answerphone.
      It doesn’t surprise me at all to learn there is a different script for the elderly who are often considered a soft touch. People don’t take into account the limited incomes of most pensioners. Not Fair.
      xxx Ginormous Hugs xxx

  11. This is awful!!! That poor lady was trying to do the right thing and those charities just sucked the life out of her. I can’t imagine what she must have been going through to end her life in such a tragic way.

    • I think some people just cannot bear the thought of debt and the thought of telling their families what a mess they’re in. Nor can they bring themselves to say enough is enough when they’re being bled dry so they can’t afford to eat any longer.
      This really is tragic.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  12. I totally know how she felt, the stress of it all – awful. I have worked out how to avoid speaking to them – I no longer answer the phone at home, let it ring and go to message bank, if it’s someone I know they’ll start leaving a message & I pick up, if its charity or sellers they hang up. Recently I’ve been monitoring a certain number on caller ID and I tell you it’s rung at least 100 in a week and I sense it’s a charity – so I will phone them one day from a phone booth and tell them to stop harassing people. I have my favourite charities I regularly give funds to but I have noticed too that when you give to one – ten start calling 🙂 Big hugs

    • I’m sure in both our countries it’s against the law to exchange information with or sell lists to other organisations. Most point to a box not being ticked on a form denying permission but that system is obviously flawed. Your system is best, letting all calls go to answerphone and having the choice of who to call back.
      As it stands, the law needs changing to prevent this kind of harassment and the charities must not be self governing as far as tactics go.
      Change it so that all collections are made though boxes at a bank as most people go there and he monies can be paid directly into an account by the bank when the box is emptied. No more cold calling.
      xxx Gigantic Hugs Ina xxx

      • Cold calling is becoming a real menace, not just charities but sellers and “I’ll do a good deal for you”/in bad English…so in my house the phone hangs on the wall, cordless, attached to answering machine and as I hear a familiar voice “Ina, are you home” 🙂 – they know my routine by now, If I do not pick up they know to leave a message…several of my friends have started doing the same. I so agree collections should be in boxes or something like that as long as the hound go away I will give any day 🙂 Biiiiiiiiiiig hugs 🙂

  13. We cannot support e.v.e.r.y. charity because then we would become a charity case. What has happened to this woman is tragic. Each year we have more and more charities, either real or scams, and they do tend to latch on to the elderly. In the past I’d had many conversations with my mother regarding her generous support of any charity that came knocking or calling. At least she had at least a light line drawn in who she would support. 😦

    • No we can’t support every Charity but it never stops them from bombarding us. I was really sorry for the recent tragic earthquake in Nepal and I made a donation but that didn’t stop me getting requests from other charities, from the same charity via the mail and then renewed requests a week later when the next one struck. People will give what they can but it is a finite income and the constant barrage may mean I’ll stop giving to all.
      I’m glad your mother had you around to keep an eye on things and check on her.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  14. Such a sad story, David, which I heard about on the news.

    Only recently did I sign a petition, to then be bombarded with email requests to now donate money to the cause. I don’t mind signing petitions if I really believe in what is being said, but to then be bombarded with requests for money is very different. It’s totally put me off signing any petition again.

    I’ll certainly do what I can to change the law so that we don’t have anymore cases like Olive. She did such a massive amount for the community that she should have been left alone. God bless her.

    • The constant bombardment is very wearing isn’t it Hugh. There have to be better protections in place so there are no more tragedies like Olive.Maybe an Olive’s Law so the family know the changes are as a result of and in memory of their Grandmother.

      • Wonderful idea, David.

        What with phone calls telling me my computer has a virus, that I’ve had an accident, and that they are ringing about my PPI claim, it’s a wonder I’m never off the phone!

        I’m alway wary about unsubscribing from emails because I hear that if you do that then the company the email is from will sell your details on. There really needs to be laws in place to stop all of this.

      • I couldn’t agree more Hugh.

  15. David, what a tragedy! Clearly it’s elder abuse. Taking financial advantage of the elderly. Okay…here’s a thought. Where was the family in this case? Where was the bank? Where was her protection against being scammed. Now every agency, authority is getting on the band wagon to investigate? Sadly, too late for 92-year-old Olive. God rest her soul! Christine

    • I doubt she showed any signs of distress to the family though they had in the past brought it to the attention of the newspapers that she was getting so much mail requesting money that a photograph of the offending mail went in the papers. It was then a good time for the agencies to start taking action themselves to control their excesses.
      The bank,? I don’t know, no doubt they contacted her about inadequate funds in her accounts but only to levy fees on her. Yes, I’m sure a personal contact from the branch would have helped.Let’s hope there are lessons learned in all quarters about this in time to prevent another one. Such a tragedy.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

      • David, no doubt the family was aware of this. And because she supposedly was of sound mind, the family could not override any of her financial decisions. But, there were other practical ways to protect her! They’re obvious ones to stop the calls, stop the mail, accompany her to the bank. Get involved in her daily life! I still say she slipped through the cracks, and to end it all, ended her own life. So very sad! Yes, lessons to learn on all fronts!!! Christine

      • You may well be right Christine though I don’t know how local they are to her or how often they’re able to see her. She certainly seems to have been doing amazingly well for a 92 year old in coping alone. I’m sure the family are self recriminating now but this still wouldn’t have happened had the Charities involved not been sharing information and bombarding her with requests constantly which is wrong on so many counts.
        She certainly slipped through cracks and chose one way to stop the harassment.We have to curb these people before it happens again and maybe remind families to take more of an interest in elderly parents finances if allowed.
        xxx Hugs xxx 🙂

  16. What a sad and tragic end for someone who was literally so giving. Thank you for sharing. We get calls all the time, but if I don’t recognize the number on Caller ID, I don’t pick up. I suspect there are more scams than actual charities though. One new scary tactic is to have your own phone number appear on the Caller ID. That happened to me a few days ago. I thought I was in some old teen horror movie for a minute.

    The requests that come in the mail, I just put into the shredding box. If there are freebies, such as notepads, I take them without any guilt. I did not ask for them to be sent to me afterall.

    What is “ex-D?”

    • Ex-D is to be ex directory and not have your name appear in the phone books. That is a new tactic and not very nice to use your own phone number but I reckon if you answer it you’d be picking up the bill for the call too.
      I don’t mind keeping the gifts they send I just wish they’d use the money spent on those, on the intended charity instead.They wouldn’t need as much then.
      I don’t blame you at all for not picking up calls from unknown numbers.
      xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  17. Very sad and unnecessary

  18. Terrible. Undue pressure is never right, no matter the cause. I subscribe to most of what has been said. Before I used to be out of the house most of the time so didn’t get calls, now I’ve also started not answering the phone (I’m also listed in a Privacy list for cold calls….). If somebody leaves a message I’ll check but…

    • It’s really the only sensible way to operate these days Olga with so many telephone promotions going. It’s very time consuming ( though not for me).
      There is pressure just in the volume of calls alone never mind the constant begging. It’s putting people off giving to charities. They’ve become their own worst enemies.
      xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

  19. SO SAD! My condolences also to Ms. Cooke”s family! THANK YOU, Lord David – you have given fair warning to potential victims!!!

    • Thank you Michael. I sincerely hope there will be some sudden changes to the way charities operate in light of this tragedy. Let’s hope there are no more victims.

  20. It is really disgusting how greedy and stupid people can be. And especially when they prey on the elderly. I guess that is why I don’t answer the phone when I don’t recognize the number. I figure if they want to leave a message and it is someone I know, I will call them back. So sorry for this woman and her family.

    • I think that’s probably the best way of dealing with them at home Cheryll since they won’t leave a message they should get fed up of calling.
      It was a tragedy that could have been, should have been avoided.
      xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  21. Well said, David. My mum is 94 and inundated with this junk. If I find it on the mat when I go round I just throw it away. Trouble is, she is, like Olive, thrifty and proud but very generous to those she sees as worse off. And charities prey on this. They can’t seem to see that they are doing as much harm with these mail shots and calls, as good with the money they get.

  22. David, this post hits very close to home. Twelve years ago my aunt in California died. She lived alone, had several health problems and lived on a tight budget, but it was only afterward when we were cleaning out her rooms and organizing all her check receipts and credit card charges–and the personal frantic-for-help notes that came with so many requestions–that we realized how upset and troubled she was. And nearly broke after one donation ran through NINE times, yet she didn’t realize it because it happened before she received a statement.

    • I’m so sorry Marylin. It does show that the pressure from the charities is worldwide and unchecked. Surely they can’t be allowed to get away with this conduct and should not be harassing people who already donate to them. I’m aware that there are major problems in the world that they want to sort out but they can’t possibly think they’re the only ones that care. Or that the only method of doing it is to take everything away from those who donate to them.
      I give what I can and no more. I’m able to throw further requests in the bin but who knows when that might change and I won’t be aware of what I’m doing and it might take others a long time to realise that. The charities have to be brought under proper legislation that prevents them from behaving in this manner.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  23. Hello David, thank you for re-tweeting my poem Barefoot In The Sacred, much appreciated.

    Regarding the sad death of Olive Cooke, obviously a kind and compassionate woman, she must have been terribly desperate to end her life from the stress of bombardment of charitable organisations and I absolutely agree with the points you make on this matter.

    I look forward to reading more of your writing from barsetshirediaries.
    Have a good day.

    • Hi Teri, it’s a pleasure, and not just ‘cos you’re Welsh either ( though it counts for a lot). Welsh lady living in Ireland, published in England you’ve almost covered the UK now haven’t you.
      Thank you for dropping in. I agree with you that poor Olive must have been truly desperate to have taken her own life, thank you so much for agreeing that something must be done to stop this constant bombardment of begging letters and calls from charities.Our resources are finite yet they always want more.
      You’ll be welcome any time you want to drop in.
      xxx Cwtch xxx

  24. I read about this but didn’t have the awareness to write about it myself so your powerful and relevant post is a good wake up call to those who read the news and merely shake their heads as I had done. The story is so remarkable and horrific that, even now, I can hardly get my head round it. Those involved in harassing her should hang their heads in shame, but no doubt they are too busy harassing other possible donators to spend much reflecting on their actions. Well done you.

    • Thanks Peter but I can hardly take he credit when my attention was drawn to it originally, not having heard of it when it happened.. You’re right though when you say they should hang their heads in shame and no doubt right also that hey just moved their attention elsewhere having not received further responses from her.
      Legislation must be laid down that prevents this kind of harassment ever happening again if for no other reason than they have to know that no-one can just afford to keep paying out.I was surprised and disgusted to find out that these charities would break the law and share this ladies name without her direct permission.
      Thanks for commenting

  25. There are always those who turn something good, charities, into something bad. So sad. And at 92 to feel there is no way out. Thank you for sharing David. A good reminder why it’s important to talk to someone and ask for help. 🙂 HUgs.

    • The trouble with the elderly is they hate to ask for help. Pride and all that. I think we just have to make sure we know our oldies have no problems and if we see any begging letters on the mat, just bin them straight off.
      xxx Massive Hugs Maggie xxx

  26. It really is tragic that Olive Cooke should be in such a bad way that she felt the only way out was to plunge to her death. It makes my blood boil that there are so many charlatans and crooks out there, all preying on the vulnerable and elderly – those that they know cannot defend themselves. You’ve done right to illustrate this story David, even if it is too late for poor Olive, it might help save someone else. The more people that know about these wicked people, the better. HUGE HUGS from Disgusted in Andalucia xxxxxxxxxxx

    • What made this story worse for me Lottie was hat for once this wasn’t the charlatans and crooks. This was the genuine article, those who collect money because hey care for others, except their donors apparently who they can hound for money despite being given some.
      That’s not to say I want to let up on the wicked beggars who do try to con and manipulate the elderly and vulnerable.
      xxx Massive Hugs from a rain free Wales xxx

  27. What a sad story, David 😦 I had not heard it until I came here to read your post. I do find sometimes charities are too aggressive. Charity, and giving in general, is supposed to be heartfelt rather than done through guilt. It’s not right! Saddened by it –>> hugs to you for spreading word!

    • Massive Hugs for dropping in Christy and commenting. It’s a sad situation and I’ve signed an appeal to the Charities in question to review their procedures.Had it not been that they are after all charities I would hope that this aggressive marketing would cost them donations. 🙂

  28. Very good post. As a new septuagenarian, I find myself more and more inclined to empathize with those less fortunate than I. Fortunately, I still have my wits about me, and I’m able to resist the temptation to donate to every charity that comes down the pike. However, it’s easy to see how individuals who are of advanced age, or not in full possession of their faculties might be more vulnerable still to con artists and unscrupulous charities. A very sad story indeed.

    • Thanks Joe. I’m lucky my wits are still just about here but there are plenty whose memory isn’t what it should be who can sign up for direct debit donations without realising they are already paying one.As responsible people, the charities must have a database of donors and should be able to spot duplicates and check them out in case the person doesn’t know, then one or more can be stopped. Go too far and you kill of the golden egg quicker and in reality as happened in this case.
      The onus is on them to make sure their donors can afford to donate.

  29. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    This case was an appalling example of how many charities are run and that includes some of the biggest names in the business.. And I use the word business deliberately. If you check your online free advertising sites in your area you will see that street charity collectors are being recruited with an average hourly rate of £11. Then there is a supervisor level who will manage a team of street collectors who will be on an average of £15 plus a cut of the collection.. This means that out of the £1 you put in the tin very little reaches the intended beneficiaries of the charity. This is why they push so hard on the phone (paid on commission telemarketers) and for direct debit contributions so that the amount to the charity is higher.. however out of this contribution all the administration and salaries for the top heavy management have to be paid so again your money is not reaching those it should. Not all but too many charities are pyramid schemes and should be prosecuted for false advertising. I will only give directly to small charities that are volunteer run and instead of cash I will donate items directly such as blankets, toys, food etc to local organisations that I can check out. Sounds harsh but as David Prosser points out the charity business is unregulated and needs to be brought under a very strict set of best business practices.. My heart goes out to this poor woman’s family and I know from the vultures circling my mother in her 90s that it leaves a very bitter aftertaste. Great piece David..sorry for the rant! hugs XX

    • Thanks so much for re-blogging this Sally.It’s not fair when they target someone your Mum’s age and like leeches don’t let go easily.A change is needed.
      xxx Biggest Hugs xxx

  30. I decided a long time ago not to give. I would rather help one person or family directly than give to these predators. Sounds horrid perhaps but a few years ago I knew someone who gave up a vast salary to go to Haiti following the quake, to work for a major charity there. For six months she seems to have had a ball. Parties, and goodness knows what else went on…I cannot recall it all. But when she came back and I asked about progress made for those poor people, she told me that nothing changed. Things were as bad as when she first arrived there. She told me there were 3,500 different charities working in Port Au Prince – so do tell me. Where did the money go and what difference did those people make to the lives of those victims? She couldn’t tell me, perhaps your readers might know. She got £25,000 a year there and full board and lodgings. She came back with an impressive CV and waked into another charity salaried job with earnings almost as much as her original one earned in the job she’d given up. Since I was little I have grown up in a world asking to fee this country, give water to this other country. I purchased weekly saving stamps when at school to fee the children of China and India, then Direct debits set up for this charity and that one. And now half a century later I am still being asked to feed someone or bring water to a village and provide education, medical care and so on for even more countries. I am not callous, I am generous and will help those in need – but where has my money gone? Why can’t they have water, medical aid and so forth after 50 years of me and others giving and giving and giving….overseas and in GB where people are struggling too? Governments – bad or no governments, that is why! A friend who worked overseas (Engineer) told me that they used to be involved in big projects building roads and other infrastructures in Africa and the money went to the governments direct. Annually they’d take this engineer and his company on a right song and dance as they were supposed to show them the fruits of their labour and where the money had gone. In their posh huge Mercedes and other expensive cars, an entourage would set off into the wilderness to see this infrastructure, only to find either nothing or a few miserable and pathetic efforts to make it look like something was being built. The money had been spent by the governments and not on the projects. I am sorry for this old, lady and many others like her, someone needs to stop this charity bandwagon making us all go on a massive guilt trip for making our country what it is today, without outside help and without conning our way through life. I sound nasty I know, but I am not. I try to help individuals when and if I can. Then I know my money or gift has gone directly to the deserving and is not part of a huge machine bleeding kind caring people dry. This ought to be made illegal, pressure of this kind is disgusting. I want to know why the Bank didn’t wonder about all her Direct Debits…gone is the bank manager we knew and who knew us and who would have stepped in and asked. No one knows anyone any more and life is too remote and uninvolved. That is a major problem too. Sorry to rant like this but I had my eyes opened and I don’t like what I see and know. Not all charities are to be tarred with the same brush of course. But I will do my own bit for people in my own way and I don’t want boxes shoved in my face or phone calls making me feel guilty. That really is not on.

    • Let me say first Jane that you don’t sound at all nasty. There’s a lot to what you say and most of it I agree with. I would want this kind of pressure stopped in this country and legislation set in place to prevent this happening ever again. I would not allow an industry to self determine it’s own rules and regulations so why a charity.
      You’re right that vast amounts of money are raised for projects abroad and have been for many years.We should NEVER allow our public donations to be paid direct to another Government.If a Country want/need the project they have to agree to let the charity in charge manage the money and the work force.Donors should be able to see progress on projects.
      We should try to ensure that wells are built to supply water and not continually supply bottled water unless there is no water below ground to be brought up. I’m sure proper engineers could be found to verify a water source or not.
      Since our country has a standing army I’d much prefer that some are sent abroad each time there is a new project to ensure our workers are safe and that the money or the vital supplies get to where they’re meant to.

      That you would rather help a person or a family directly still shows you caring side and in the wake of so many foreign disasters many of our own folk get forgotten. I’m quite sure than many people agree with your every sentiment.

      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  31. Reblogged this on Michaelphelps1's Blog and commented:
    SAD! Thank youm, Lord David for bringing this to other’s attention. It could very well save lives!

  32. Kev

    It right that they hire big PR firms that are experts at tugging the heart-strings, but nothing pulls mine more than stories that are closer to home… the goodwill of these people has been preyed upon and abused to the extent that they felt is necessary to end their own lives. Will these same charities be there for the grieving families? I doubt it.

    Having given to charities on many occasions, I know full-well how this comes about. The more you give, the more they ask. That doesn’t stop me from giving, but I do wish that they would respect people who have given by not asking for more. If a legislation was passed where they are not allowed to solicit individuals through email, telephone or any other means. That should work. People will still give when they see the adverts. There is no reason why they should solicit people on an individual basis.

    And since they are charities… there should be no ‘small print’ allowed. Everything should be stated loud and clear when one donates and as with businesses, there should be a cooling off period for people to change their minds, if they realise they really couldn’t afford what they gave.

    • All great common sense Kev. I don’t mind requests via the post as you can take heed if you want or dispose if not but the telephone is intrusive, and beyond intrusive when someone is doing their best to ‘sell’ you something and is going at it like a double glazing salesman.Only with a double glazing salesman they can only sell it to you once whereas charities come back time and again.
      You’re quite right that a blanket ban would solve that .

      • Kev

        I hate the telephone at the best of times, hence the answering machine. If they know me, and I like them… I’ll pick up or get back in touch…
        t’otherwise, forget it… one of my pet peeves. I simply don’t have time for the phone. 😀

        Your right about salesmen, they can usually only sell you something once, but charities, no. Blanket Ban… bring it on! 😀

      • I have a telephone answering machine too. The system here is I sometimes listen to messages. If they’re important or interesting I text my daughter the gist ans she gets in touch. All the family know I won’t answer or speak on the phone so if they want me they text me. The charities only have the postal option with me. They get placed in the rubbish or thrown in the rubbish dependent upon when they last wrote or if they contain raffle tickets they want me to sell ( or buy ).
        They’re allowed too many bites of the cherry and are greedy.
        Thanks Kev.

      • Kev

        You’re a very wise man, David! I could probably learn a thing or two out of your book. 😀

  33. My paternal grandmother was like this too. Every day impassioned pleas came in the mail asking for money to fund good causes and she would automatically reach for her check book. Finally my father had to step in and take over her finances so people couldn’t take advantage of her any longer.

    • It’s as well your father was there to do so Bethan. The problem is the lack of a conscience by the charities when there is no-one to help the vulnerable, they will still keep begging until there’s nothing left.There hass to be a line they cannot cross and it has to be created and enforced as they obviously won’t do it themselves.
      xxx Huge Hugs xxx

      • One doesn’t necessarily think of charities as predatory, as it runs counter to their mandate, but you make an astonishingly good case to the contrary. I don’t have a lot of money to spare and have difficulty making the rent, but I still have more than some. So I do give charitable donations to organizations whose goals I support, but there are some that never leave you alone and send you heartrending appeals for more money. I did a little research on some of them and discovered they had received far more than was needed and actually had a surplus of donations. Yet still they beg you to help, as though your last $10 in the world will make the difference between success at the charity’s purpose or utter failure and it will be your fault. Is money given out of guilt still charity?

  34. This is so sad and a cruel way of ruining a persons kind nature.
    My biggest concern is where the money goes. If i’m paying say £5 then I want that £5 to go to the person in need. My husband looked into one I wanted to support and over half of the donation would go to the management part. I couldn’t believe it was over half.
    Thank you for sharing this sad story but hopefully it will make people talk and share the story to make everyone more aware.
    Take care,

    • Hopefully it will make a lot more people think about where their money is going.If overpaid executives are setting targets and employing people to work on commission then we need to look at the way they work.We also need to make sure they can only ask for a donation by post a maximum of say twice a year, but not if they sign a direct debit, they don’t need to ask again then.
      I don’t want to read more sad stories like tha and don’t want to think chartities are greedy to that extent.
      xxx Hugs Galore xxx

  35. That’s a sad and disturbing story, David. In Australia, there is a ‘do not call’ registry, and this is very helpful to those who do not want their lives being invaded by those seeking commercial gain, and I think by charities, too.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • An excellent idea Margaret. I think there may be (?) something similar here but how many people would think they need protection from a charity. When you fill anything in for these people it often asks for a phone number and for a charity you tend just to fill it in, not expecting problems like these. But once they have it, and if they share it with others, then woebetide us.
      We should be able to expect better of associations like that.
      xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  36. Reblogged this on A Call to Witness and commented:
    The Elderly must be protected from these telephone charity con persons. Making a senior citizen feel guilty and shaming them into giving their small pension monies is a crime!

  37. Reblogged this on A Call to Witness and commented:
    The Elderly must be protected from these telephone charity con persons. Making a senior citizen feel guilty and shaming them into giving their small pension monies is a crime!

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