News Satire People Food Other

Charity Months Clogging Up The Calendar

By Rupert Truscott-Hughes on November 14, 2013 in Other

I’ve don’t think I’ve ever been described as a particularly charitable type. Frugal: yes. Scrooge: sometimes. Philanthropic: not that I can remember. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the hard work that these charities do, it’s just that I often wonder if the money ends up in the right place. It seems that a lot of it goes into admin costs, essentially lining the pockets of those who simultaneously get off espousing that they work for charity and wear it as some kind of smug badge of honour. News flash: getting paid to work for a charity does not make you charitable.

What’s really been getting my goat of late though is all of these ‘charity months’ that seem to be de rigueur these days. The calendar is littered with them, especially at this time of year. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Ocsober just finished and Movember is about to begin – is that right? And the month formerly known as October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month – correct? I’m really struggling to keep up. And can someone please tell me what exactly is the difference between Ocsober and Dry July, besides the fact that they obviously occupy different segments of the Gregorian calendar and raise funds for different charities?

It’s actually beginning to get a bit ridiculous. In fact, when I started doing some research on charity months on good old Google, I came across Armpits for August, “a month long charity event for women and everyone with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)”, which started in August 2012. Participants grow underarm hair for one month and ask friends and family to sponsor them to raise money for a charity that support people with PCOS. Chicks growing armpit hair for charity – are they kidding?

I also read about another equally ridiculous charitable event called Beard Season in this very publication just a few months back, which, not satisfied with a meager 12th of the year to promote its cause, has decided to lay claim on the whole season of winter. So not only are the challenges getting more ridiculous, they’re eating in to more and more of one’s time.

It seems as though you always have to give something up or grow something, certainly not strengths of old Rupert’s. The only things I seem to be growing are an unsightly paunch and a healthy nest egg.

I read in a report recently that there are over one million millionaires in Australia and our median individual adult wealth is a smidgen under US$220,000, the highest in the world. It seems we’re so bloody rich we need to look for more and more excuses to give our money away. In saying that, when petrol prices go up in the slightest we immediately cry poor (and blue murder).

And just what is it with Australians and petrol prices anyway? Maybe old Rupert here should start his own charity month, whereby you stop whinging about petrol prices for a month. Better still, why not give up buying petrol for the month and leave the Porsche (or whatever vehicle you can afford to drive) in the garage for the month and take public transport, ride a bicycle or walk instead. We can it ‘No-petrol-vember’ or something. Maybe this charity month caper ain’t so bad after all!