23 August 2014

Suspicious

Another charity bag dropped through our letter box today. We never put any old clothes or other unwanted items in these bags. Instead we use them as bin liners. Don't get me wrong. Shirley and I are not averse to supporting charities and I have often dropped stuff off at either the "Mind" shop on London Road or the "Oxfam" shops at Broomhill and Nether Edge.

As I was immobilised today with a bad knee, I had time to investigate the senders of today's bag - "Treating Children With Cancer". To begin with I wouldn't class "cancer" as a treat so the name of this charity is somewhat thoughtless.

I discovered that "Treating Children With Cancer" is based at a small industrial estate in Huddersfield. They have been in existence since late 2009 and they have a rather small turnover. Most of the money that they claim they make from street collections goes into costs such as maintaining their Huddersfield depot, vehicle expenditure and staff wages. This leaves very little to give to other charities such as "Macmillan Nurses" or "Cancer UK" which are both big and effective charities dear to the hearts of the British people. It seems that "Treating Children With Cancer" use a significant amount of excess money to pay for clowns to entertain child cancer patients in hospitals - at least that is what they say they do.

One of the lead directors of the charity used to run a company called "Ragcycle" that went out of business in 2009. This wasn't a charity but a commercial venture that aimed to make money through recycling old clothes - often sending them to Third World countries for profit.

The "Treating Children With Cancer" website is rather unconvincing. It never states why the people who operate this approved charity have chosen to devote so much time to this particular cause. What is it that motivates them? Did a young family member suffer from cancer? No. It just doesn't ring true. There's something quite fishy about it all in my opinion though I would be pleased to discover that my suspicion is groundless.

Whenever charities run regular bag collections, a lot of potential charity money is lost in paying for the collection service. Walking into a charity shop with items for donation cuts out the middle men and ensures that much more of what you are presenting translates into funding. So we shall continue to use these bags for lining our kitchen bin. Additionally,  I hope that one day the truth about "Treating Children With Cancer" will be revealed.

16 comments:

  1. If your suspicions are true YP, that is disgraceful to claim charity status for something which is perhaps not charitable. Collection bins are just dumping grounds for people's rubbish here. Like you say they cost the charities money in collection and disposal, and are an eyesore to the landscape.

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    1. Our charity collection bins - often located at supermarkets - tend to be well-serviced and don't cause environmental issues.

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  2. Have you chosen to go with the American use of the verb " treat" ? Down here in Oz we would use the verb " shout" in a similar context but it certainly wouldn't have the same impact would it? "Shouting children Cancer" ???
    The cost of all those unreturned plastic bags would be contributing to their costs too I imagine. As Carol says collection bins here are disappearing because people dump their stuff and the bins are not emptied very frequently so the mess then needs sorting and often ends at the dump

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    1. Hrmph! I used the verb "treat" in the time-honoured English way which we passed to America. The recycling bins that both you and Carol mentioned are used over here but they never seem to cause any issues. They are sensibly located and emptied quite regularly.

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  3. There seem to be a number of dubious charities in the UK. I suspect Public Schools and your rag man are the tip of the dung heap.

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    1. If there was a new charity "Help the Adrians", I would be happy to donate some of my old underpants.

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  4. I think this happens a lot with these charity donation bags. Some weeks we can get a bag a day dropped through our letter boxes. Like you I never leave them out, instead I use them for the stuff I am going to donate to a bricks & mortar shop in the town

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    1. A bricks & mortar shop? Is that Cockney rhyming slang?

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  5. I am a bit wary of donating to some of the bigger charities as well after seeing a job advert for some kind of director at Oxfam for £40K a year - this was 20 odd years ago. I also won't donate to charities that waste the donations by sending rubbish through the post like cheap plastic pens etc. I prefer to support the smaller local charities that really need the money or donations of things to sell. Those plastic donation bags that come through the letter box go straight into my re-cycle bin.

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    1. I saw a charity shop in Cupar, Fife last year. It was called "Charity Begins at Home" - it's purpose being to support needy people in and around Cupar. I rather liked that idea.

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  6. Charity shops have only in the past few years started to spread in Germany. Apart from them, the one organization I do trust is the Red Cross. They have containers set up at several points around town where you can chuck in your unwanted clothes, which is what I do every now and then.

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    1. I trust lots of charities. I think they do brilliant work. I just don't trust these collection bags. I think that if The Red Cross sent any of my old clothes to Africa they would sent straight back!

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  7. I don't think we've ever been subjected to the bags you mention here on Lewis but then I suspect it would be too much trouble for them and that they operate where there are easier pickings. We do have plenty of clothes bins and charity shops though and there is a thriving charity giving culture on the Island. We have a hospice/nursing home substantially (if not wholly) funded from charitable donations.

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    1. I think the clothing collection charities will have checked out what folk wear on the Isle of Lewis and thought, "Nah! It's not worth it!"

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  8. I'm glad I'm not the only Yorkshireman to use the charity bags as bin liners! I've heard that it is never worth putting things out in these bags even for well known and respected charities as the collection cost usually negates any money made from the contents.

    I keep a box in my study into which items for charity go. When it gets full I walk into the centre of Penistone and donate them at the Barnsley Hospice shop on the high street which I at least know is helping to support people in the local area.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Mark. Nice to "meet" you even if it is through the strange medium of blogging. And thanks for the link to Barnsley Hospice. A great cause even though it shouldn't have to rely upon charity for its existence.

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