These days walking through the local mall has become a game of dodge the not-for-profits. Notice they come in fits and waves, and they have this uncanny knack of bothering you when you’re time poor and shopping list heavy?
Attempts to wave them away only seems to encourage them to skip beside you spruiking those lines aimed at making one feel guilty for not stopping to show any sympathy for their cause.
One recent response was “thank you but I support four charities already, I can’t take any more on”. For some, they let you pass, for others it just spurs them on. “You give to four, well I’m sure you can add one more.”
No, I can’t. It is my choice who I support and I deliberated long and hard about who I would give my hard-earned cash to.
And why is it when I’m dressed to the nines, busy as all hell, I get hailed down without fail. When I’m wearing my tracky dacks, have time to talk, I don’t.
So do they think I look like someone with a few coins to spare when I’ve got my business face on, and therefore I don’t have a brass razoo on the days I’m casually dressed fighting through the crowds to get to the gym?
Reminds me of the treatment one gets in the local designer stores. Ignored if not dressed in a manner becoming to the shop assistant!
I’ve often wanted to ask that question of not-for-profit spruikers. So I did the other day and was surprised by the response.
Yes, they were interested in people who presented themselves in a certain way but more often than not they zeroed in on those with a “kind smile” as that denoted a “big heart” and a big heart in their world translates into dollars and support for their cause.
Thinking back to the times I was rushing through the mall, I fail to see I had a smile on my dial, more a worried frown of being able to get through that long shopping list in my lunch half hour.
Now perhaps I should show more empathy for the work they are trying to do but given recent reports about door to door salesmen and it being illegal to knock on doors that have a sign saying “no hawkers” [note, doesn’t work with junk mail signs], I pictured myself walking down the mall dressed up and wearing a piece of bling around my neck with said sign that I could thrust in the spruikers faces as I rushed by.
After all, charity [discussions] begin at home, not in the streets of the mall.
Judy Wilkinson is a freelance journalist who has volunteered to teach English to students in disadvantaged schools in Costa Rica during 2013.