When Charity Demands More

Wuan has been spring cleaning since we got back from Ipoh. The house has been cluttered with heaps and heaps of things that have outlived their usefulness to us. There were several bagful of old clothings, stacks of old magazines and a deck chair that was just gathering dust by a corner. There were also seminar packs from the conferences and seminars that I participated in that had souveniers that I did not want to keep.

Wuan sorted the ones that could be recycled and discarded the rest. We had planned to drop the items at the recycle bin near our place. Just as she was to loading the things into the car, a truck collecting recycleable items from a Buddhist charity passed by. Wuan showed them the items which they said they wanted and duly transferred to their truck.

After loading everything into the truck, one of them came back and asked us for a monetary donation. “Any amount will do,” he said. Wuan told him that is all we were giving. He repeated himself. I was in the living room working on the laptop from where I had a clear view of the gate and within earshot of their conversation. He kept asking Wuan for a donation. I overhead the converstaion and was beginning to get irritated. He reasoned to Wuan that it is good to give a donation and that if we can give more it is even better.

I was about to go out to tell the person we are not going to donate a single sen when he finally gave up and left. We made it a point not to donate money to charitable organisations that we are not familiar with. We are wary of how the money is being used. If it is purely for the benefit of people who need it, fine, but there is really no way of telling unless one is personally involved with these organisations.

There are just too many unscrupulous people out there collecting money in the name of charity. Most times, people just give without giving a second thought. This attitude is commendable but we should also ensure that the hard-earned money we donate truly go to reputable organisations that have a good track record of disbursing aid to people who really need it instead of fattening the wallets of lazy conniving individuals.

I am not implying that the person who asked Wuan is guilty of any of these acts. However, his insistence in asking for monetary donation really put me off. Charity is about how much we are willing to give in kind or cash without being pressured into it. One thing I know for sure is that all the recycleable items that we want to dispose off in the future will definitely not go to this organisation.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

2 thoughts on “When Charity Demands More”

  1. According to my father, it’s bad to donate while we’re having meal. It’s like giving away your lucky and wealth.

    I have never heard of this one. 🙂

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