Hi! In June I'm going to be cycling round Europe/climbing the north face of the Eiger/walking the Great Wall of China in aid of threadbare cuddly toys. As you all know, this is a very important cause so please give generously.
And I, old cynic that I am, think just one thing:
Why should I pay for you, whoever you are, to go on holiday? To do something that you want to do anyway? Even if it is for a good cause. Because that's how it (normally) works. You raise a minimum amount for charity and the charity pays for you to go and do whatever exciting adventurous thing it is you want to do. Out of its funds. Funds that could be used for whatever good cause it is you claim to be supporting while having your
Why don't you, instead, if you really want to help cuddly toys, or the homeless, or desperately ill children, shake a tin, or volunteer in a hospice, or just write a cheque?
And, of course, the simple answer is: Because it doesn't raise enough money.
But isn't that wrong? Why is it that we will willingly pay for our loved ones, family members, friends, colleagues and acquaintances to run marathons, or swim lochs, or walk backwards up a mountain in a pair of false breasts and a wig, at the charity's expense, when we won't just put our hands in our pockets for one of any number of really worthy causes.
Why is it, when I ranted at my sister about this (she wants to climb Kilimanjaro for Parkinsons UK - and in her defence she would pay for the trip herself) getting cross about the pointlessness of it, the environmental impact of the flight, the sheer stupidity of people carrying water up a mountain for her convenience, and ending, "You should just go and volunteer in an old people's home for two weeks instead and get people to sponsor you to do that" I had to admit defeat when she said, "But they wouldn't"?
Why is it, that my brother, who runs marathons for fun (we're not really related) and who has got a place in this year's London Marathon through his running club, is still going to ask people for money?
Because he can. And because they'll give it to him.
So I know, really, why I should pay for your holiday: because that's what works. But wouldn't it be lovely if the dull, but useful, stuff worked too? Just think how much more money we could raise then.