Charity Update – I’m not obsessing, am I?

Don’t bother answering my rhetorical question above – I admit that this has obsessed me for some time! BUT, this will be my last charity post unless it’s  good news.

Despite last year having spent the year writing  RTS and “Please Remove This Name From Your Mailing List” and where appropriate “I do NOT donate to charities which waste my donation on “Free Gifts”  on charity requests which were unsolicited, this year,  I have continued to receive requests from numerous charities, including a bunch of new names, but the number of organisations has  certainly declined – in fact, I’m surprised by the number of names that are missing.

It’s not the end of August yet, and over those nearly 8 months I have saved the mailings I received. Would you be surprised to know that they weigh in at 2.208kg. The ‘gifts’ and ‘Thank You’ inclusions accounted for just over half a kilo of that weight.

My up-to-date list* is now:

  1. Alzheimer’s Australia NSW
  2. Amnesty International Australia
  3. Amnesty International Australia
  4. Amnesty International Australia
  5. Amnesty International Australia
  6. Autism Spectrum
  7. Cancer Council NSW
  8. Children’s Cancer Institute
  9. Children’s Medical Research Institute
  10. Diabetes NSW
  11. Diabetes NSW
  12. Diabetes NSW
  13. Downs
  14. Garvan Research Foundation
  15. GI Cancer Institute
  16. Habitat For Humanity
  17. Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia (Australia)
  18. Hunter Medical Research Institute
  19. International Fund For Animal Welfare
  20. International Fund For Animal Welfare
  21. Oxfam Australia
  22. Macular Disease Foundation
  23. Make a Wish  Australia
  24. Royal Flying Doctor Service
  25. Royal Flying Doctor Service
  26. Seeing Eye Dogs
  27. Seeing Eye Dogs
  28. Starlight Children’s Foundation
  29. National Stroke Foundation
  30. National Stroke Foundation
  31. National Stroke Foundation
  32. National Stroke Foundation
  33. Neuroscience Research Australia
  34. St Vincent de Paul Society
  35. Australia for UNHCR Appeal
  36. Australia for UNHCR Appeal
  37. Vision Australia
  38. World Wildlife Fund
  39. World Vision Australia
  40. Youth Off The Streets

*Before I get comments saying that certain charities do not have more than x number of mailings a year, it is possible that in my frenzy of tearing my personal details from the many inclusions before recycling the paper, I have missed names or double counted in some instances.

NB Not all the charities included above are unwelcome mail but in order to give some idea of the extent of these mailings I have included them

I have also received a number of door knocks and phone calls from charities and am getting an increasing number of emails asking for donations. Not counted  are the requests which are directed to the other member of the household and which are usually “filed” before I see them.

I understand why there are so many requests for help – in Australia we have a Federal Government that has cut off a lot of funding to community support services and which has been less than generous in recent years for research funding. Worldwide (including Australia) there are so many people living in poverty, suffering terrible natural and man-made disasters, suffering torture and abuse at the hands of their governments, fleeing from oppression, brutality and war – the list goes on, but again, our Federal Government has slashed the foreign aid budget.

It’s hard to understand why, in a country as stable and wealthy as ours, that we cannot provide adequately  for our own citizens who need assistance. And it’s disgraceful that in a world where so many people are in poverty,  fleeing for their lives, or living in the aftermath of natural disasters, that we can’t provide more, not less, foreign aid.

Back to my problem – I probably feel so annoyed by these mailings because of the enormous need to be met – most of the mailings tear at my heart-strings but I can’t support them all.

In future I will be returning unwanted mail to sender without opening it and  I will be writing to a number of charities expressing my concern that lists of names are still being sold despite the privacy laws.

As for donations – rather than responding to requests, we  will send fewer, but larger annual donations than at present and ask that those charities we support respect our privacy.

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