Cristmas crisis

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Cristmas crisis

Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:48 pm

Well christmas is approaching, and this year, I am not sending Christmas cards, so
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you.
This year, my Christmas card money is going to Crisis at Christmas
The Christmas period is even more desperate than usual for homeless people, nearly everywhere closed, not even possible to wander through a shopping mall to get a few minutes of warmth.
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Postby bobthebob1234 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:05 pm

how much do you define as
my Christmas card money

?
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:23 am

Enough to reserve a place for one person at CC.
(Which to be sure is more than I used to spend on Christmas cards, but it makes me feel better).

I don't often put random change in collecting tins, I like to choose my charities.
Another one I donate to at Christmas is the Restavek foundation.
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Postby Marrea » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:59 pm

These days it's not so much a matter of deciding whether to donate Christmas card money to a charity but rather the postage money. It is quite noticeable, since the introduction of the large letter rate, how reluctant people are to send decent sized cards any more. Of course it could just be that no one thinks I'm worth a decent sized card any more but ..... :roll:
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Postby heiowge » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:24 pm

I used to buy packs of those cheapy cards with the naff Victorian scenes. Then I stuck speech bubbles and captions to them.

This year, of course, I'm not doing Christmas. My spare money will also be going to charity,
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Postby Rhakios » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:18 pm

heiowge wrote:My spare money will also be going to charity,


Spare money, you say, I remember the days when I used to have spare money...
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:23 pm

Rhakios wrote:
heiowge wrote:My spare money will also be going to charity,


Spare money, you say, I remember the days when I used to have spare money...


We in the western world always have spare money.

This man should be an inspiration to us all.

We all forget how hard things can be.
I remember walking 5 miles to see my girlfriend because I didn't have enough money for the bus fare. That was forty years ago, and we're still married :)
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Postby Rhakios » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:16 pm

wyliecoyoteuk wrote:
Rhakios wrote:
heiowge wrote:My spare money will also be going to charity,


Spare money, you say, I remember the days when I used to have spare money...


We in the western world always have spare money.



When I stop having to cut back to meet the bills, then I will consider that I have spare money.

Personally, I couldn't give a stuff about Christmas. One thing I haven't cut back on is the charities that I do give to, but I will not be making any extra contributions.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:21 pm

I suppose that it depends on what you define as spare.
What we spend on a month's broadband would probably feed a poor family in the third world for more than a month.
I know people who spend nearly a hundred pounds a month on TV!

I'm not a big fan of Christmas either, but I realise that for the homeless it is a big problem, simply because at this time of year, keeping warm is harder than ever, especially when everywhere is shut for two or three days.
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Postby Rhakios » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:40 pm

wyliecoyoteuk wrote:I know people who spend nearly a hundred pounds a month on TV!


There's more stuff on Freeview in a day than I can watch in a week. Unless one has special interests catered to only by paid-for channels, I can't imagine spending anything beyond the license fee.

Normally the weather is coldest towards the end of January/start of February, but there isn't anything around those times to get people feeling charitable, probably because they are still paying for the Christmas excesses.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:22 pm

Rhakios wrote:Normally the weather is coldest towards the end of January/start of February


Yes, but there are 24 hour supermarkets, shopping malls and other places that are open. Christmas is the only time (for the moment at least) that everywhere is closed for 24 hours over 2 or 3 days, and also many of the CC volunteers are available because they are on holiday.

I agree about the TV, I seldom watch more than an hour or two a week. I amazes me that others spend such ridiculous amounts on it and then complain that they can't afford this and that.
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Toby Ord and Spare Money

Postby Nuke » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:23 pm

wyliecoyoteuk wrote:
We in the western world always have spare money.
.............
We all forget how hard things can be.


"We in the western world" is a bit sweeping. I know people with no spare money. I just today heard from a neighbour that my predecessor in this house, a woman whose husband walked out on her and three young children, spent the winter of 2009/10 wrapped in duvets as she could not afford the heating. She might in theory have been entitled to social services, or in theory have been entitled to payments from her husband, but clearly that did not happen. Yet someone passing outside would consider it a prosperous-looking house. Sell the house you say? She did; in fact she had been trying to sell it ever since her husband went two years earlier. You just don't know what suffering goes on behind closed doors.

You also have much greater optimism about the economic future of the western world than many people do, with today south Asia, and no doubt parts of Africa tomorrow, fast overtaking us, leaving the UK little but Scotch Whisky and the last dregs of the North Sea oil to sell in exchange for the manufactured goods needed to live in an overcrowded island unable to grow enough food for itself. Will they be sending us charity in 100 years from now - or will it not be in their philosphy?

wyliecoyoteuk wrote:This man should be an inspiration to us all.


I am in two minds about that guy, Toby Ord. Interview kept referring to Bill Gates as an inspiration, but it is unclear whether Ord himself said this. We might be impressed by Gates' payments but should not be impressed by Gates himself : he has given (I believe) $1 billion, but still leaving a personal wealth of ~$55 billion, more than it would be physically possible to spend on himself in the rest of his life. He is following a well trodden path set by Rockefeller, Carngie and other shady and ruthless businessmen who, before they died, got worried about how history would remember them. I have always said that Gates would impress me only if he gave away such as to leave himself with no more than the average citizen.

Toby Ord is far more impressive than Gates in that he has made a significant dent in his own lifestyle. Or has he? I have known those donnish types. Their working and social lives revolve around the academic world and they have little use for money apart from subsistence. They are not interested in cars, clothes, yachts, holidays, etc. So I suspect he would have lived like he does anyway.

He says "someone in the UK suffering from severe depression has possibly a worse life than people I help in Africa or South Asia but it turns out that it's really difficult to help that person, but much easier to help the person abroad."

Why?

Has he never heard of the NSPCC for example? Or is it an example of the popular western conscience-saver, to point to the other side of the world as to where the troubles are and to be in self-denial about anything wrong near home. I recommend Charles Dicken's "Bleak House", Chapter 4, "Telescopic Philanthropy". Or is it the "Just toss money at them" attitude as a "solution"? Someone in the article made a good point that these charities value your time more than your money - except for the middlemen like Jeffery Archer perhaps.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:45 pm

Well, in the western world, we don't have children collecting drinks cans and waste paper to sell for money to buy food, or families living on less than a dollar a day, or maybe we do, it is hard to know.Everything is relative, especially suffering.
The family you use as an example were rich in some terms, they actually had somewhere to live. Having to wrap up in duvets is hardly comparable with starving or freezing to death on the street.
Where someone is homeless, they are totally destitute, yet even the homeless in the western world are rich compared to some in the third world.
We can't help everyone, we have to make a choice.
Crisis at Christmas is an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of others, through the offices of volunteers, as are many other charities.
Nor is it the only charity I donate to.
I would not use the NSPCC as an example. Like many other well established charities, their administration eats far too much of their income.
If you have never had to sleep rough, you can never understand how helpless and afraid it makes you feel.
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Postby guy » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:48 am

[Insert sanctimonious lecture of choice]

I'd hate everybody to agree on the most deserving cause - that one would get all the cash and the rest would get nothing.

Meanwhile, what I do with my spare cash is my business. I ain't about to start a foundation dedicated to bragging about it.

Oh, and Season's Greetings to you all.
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Postby towy71 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:13 pm

guy wrote:[Insert sanctimonious lecture of choice]

Oh, and Season's Greetings to you all.

Have a good time if you can and help someone else if you can too :D
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