Charity. You can’t fault it. Charities help out people all over the world that are less fortunate than we are, and make it possible for us make contributions to causes which would otherwise be out of our reach. Really, if you wanted to make a donation towards well building in Africa, without the involvement of an appropriate charity, would you know where to start? I know I wouldn’t. In fact, would you even bother to give if it meant having to miss an episode of The Walking Dead? Probably not.
The system isn’t perfect by any means. It always irks me to see the CEO of a charity driving a flash car, and it really gets my goat to get stopped in the street and being made to feel so guilty that I have to lie and run way, but for the most part, charities are fine institutions that provide a wonderful service both to those in need and those who wish to help them.
We see a great many events and activities which encourage us to donate to these fine causes too. Children in Need and Comic Relief are two of the great UK institutions that immediately spring to mind. These high profile events involve the sale of merchandise, the sponsorship of individuals to perform some feat or other, and a telethon in which viewers are asked to ‘give generously’ etc. It’s all good. It often makes me want to blind myself with a hot turd, but it’s essentially good.
If high profile national campaigns aren’t your bag (and they certainly aren’t mine) we also have the option of doing individual feats of endurance, bravery or skill and getting our friends/colleagues to sponsor us. The benefit is threefold. Needy people receive help, those who want to help them are provided a channel through which to do so, and the plucky individual heading up the whole thing is incentivized to do something like running a marathon, jumping out of an aeroplane, or fingering a crocodile, which he may not have the motivation or courage to do otherwise. Everyone’s a winner. (Add in the fact that the self-righteous little shit who’s been bothering you to sponsor him for the last month might get mortally wounded, and you’ve really got something special)
Another very common source of money for charity is the celebrity charity gameshow, and this is where I struggle. The premise is that celebrities take part in a gameshow that is usually populated by the general public. The prize money that they win goes to the charity of their choice (rather than an all-inclusive week away and a new car). On the face of it, there’s no problem, but let’s head straight to the studio, and I think you’ll see my point.
It’s the final round of “Eddy Sunshine’s Having a Ball”. Candice, a minor soap star has beaten off the other contestants and is now standing on the Plank of Destiny.
Eddy Sunshine: Now then, Candice, how are you feeling?
Candice: I’ll be honest Eddy, I’m a bit nervous.
Eddy Sunshine: I’m not surprised, there’s a lot resting on this, Candice. 100, 000 pounds to the charity of your choice. Remind us again, Candice, what’s your charity tonight?
Candice: Tonight, Eddy, I’m playing for Feed the Starving Children.
Eddy Sunshine: Ooh, Candice, that’s marvelous. Can you tell the people at home a little bit about it?
Candice: Certainly, Eddy. FSC helps to feed children in the very poorest parts of the world. We think of droughts and things causing famine, but wars are as bad if not worse in many cases. FSC take great risks to get to the root of the problem and get food into the mouths of children who would almost certainly starve to death otherwise.
Eddy Sunshine: Isn’t that a great cause ladies and gentlemen? Let’s hope that we can get that
money for them tonight. Right, Candice, if you can throw that Ping-Pong ball into that fiberglass replica of tramp’s arsehole, your charity will receive 100,000 pounds. If you miss, we’ll put the money away and let the little fuckers die.
Is it just me, or is there something wrong with that?
Minister of Stuff.