Again, instead of going out for lunch I stayed in the office again to start working on an article that’s almost due, and I’ve been approached by a group of people in my office yesterday. I have no idea how they are allowed to gain access to the office as usually people are only allowed in after being approved by the security or if they have an appointment with any of the staff or administrators in the company, so I guess, ‘security’ issue in office area should be addressed sooner or later.
But it’s not security issue that I want to bring up today, but the activities that the group of people were doing, or probably still doing today. The activities that these group of people were doing irked me to no end yesterday. What activities, you ask me? Well, they are asking for donations for the orphanage. And I’d like to say, I shamelessly condemn such activities.
You guys must be wondering why I condemn their work for charity, and furthermore, it’s for orphans. Well, firstly, it’s not Rm1, or Rm10 they are asking, but it’s in hundreds! I was shocked to the very core when I was asked to ‘donate’ Rm350 on the spot for the orphans in a rather ‘persuasive’ manner.
I really would like to call the security and chase these people away, but I was curious on what type of charity and what kind of goal they are trying to achieve by collecting such huge amount of donations for the orphanage. I could not understand why donations must be made in huge amount, because to me, the term ‘donations’ are voluntary, and so, any amount of money would do sufficiently as long as you are sincere in donating the money.
One of them made herself at home by sitting down on the chair in front of me while the two men who are accompanying her opt to stand, and I must say, I was quite intimidated by the whole situation. I glanced at the clock as the girl proceed to introduce herself and the body that she is representing and explain to me what ‘their charity activity/event’ is all about. Apparently, the ‘donation’ that she is asking for is for the purpose of buying ‘tables’ for selected orphanage and treat them for ‘buka puasa’ in hotels.
And as you probably guessed, I was uninterested. Not because I’m stingy…well, maybe I am, Rm350 is a huge amount for me to ‘donate’. It’s almost my one month expenses on food and parking. I told them that I could not possibly donate because I do not have the cash with me. And obviously, they can’t seems to take no for answer or easily dissuaded by my refusal. The girl then told me that it’s all right if I don’t have the cash with me, as I can always give them my bank account number and they will automatically deduct the bloody money from my account upon approval of bla bla bla (Sorry, I could not remember what she was saying because honestly, I did not plan to give her my account number)
So, I told them that I could not remember my bank account number and told them to ask someone else for the donation. They were still not pleased with my answer, and continued to persuade me to donate by telling me the benefit of donating like I’ll be tax exempted as well as my name would be on the table that I donated, etc etc.
Pissed off and lost my cool, I finally smirked at them and told them that actually I’m a volunteer for two orphanage during the weekend for the past few years, and told them off honestly that I do not condone their activities, because as much as I believe in promoting charity and making the lives of the orphans better, I do not believe in participating in such ‘self promotion and tax exemption’ event in the name of charity. I explained that I have always believed in contributing my time and energy by educating the orphans to help them get out of poverty in the long run instead of participating in just a mere 1 hour buffet glory to feed the orphans.
They were quite speechless when I told them off that way, and to avoid them from asking me to give donation further, I dig out 3 piece of paper from a folder that I usually carry around. The paper was 3 piece of brochure and attached to it is a form for people who wants to volunteer at the orphanage.
I handed them the paper, smiled at them sweetly and said ” Maybe you can join me in volunteering in the orphanage instead. This one will benefit orphans of all race and religion, and you don’t even have to pay so much money to be ‘recognized’. When you volunteer, the kids will even come to love you!”
A grumbled escaped from one of the guy’s mouth while the girl blush for some reason. As expected, they are not interested in volunteering.
Realizing that they could not possibly persuade me to give ‘donations’ they stood up and left, probably to look for some other people who are willing to donate for such charity events. I saw them approached my colleague on their way out. I chuckled softly as I knew that my colleague would not be so nice to spend some time to listen to their ramblings. She’s been having mood swings due to her pregnancy and most of the time, it’s her hormones that’s doing the talking instead of her intelligence. Oh boy, won’t those people get some harsh brush off.
I sighed and ponder to myself. Why must charity be done this way? Treating the orphans in some hotel for ‘buka puasa’ may give them a moment of joy, but will it help them in the long run? Will such activities benefit the orphans or the ‘sponsors’ of the table more? I’d say, this is also a form of advertising for participating ‘sponsors’, and as a bonus, they are tax exempted too. I’d say, such ‘buka puasa’ event is more to promoting oneself in the name of charity. And, most importantly, how do we tell that such thing is not a scam?
Cleffairy: A lot of people only do charity only during the presence of media and press to gain publicity. If they are truly charitable, why not do charity the whole year through without trying to gain free advertising and publicity? Why only once a year?