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Am I being Mean?

(133 Posts)
Mauriherb Sun 05-Feb-17 19:03:15

There were some young people in our supermarket packing bags to raise money to pay for a sponsored trip to Killimanjaro. They were raising money for a worthwhile charity, but needed £2000 each for the trip. I asked one of them why they couldn't do a sponsored walk in this country costing maybe £500, then give the charity the surplus £1500. I was met with vague looks and I politely said that I was happy to support the charity but didn't see why I should pay for them to travel . They clearly thought I was being mean this the case ?

Grannyknot Sun 05-Feb-17 19:06:20


GrandmaMoira Sun 05-Feb-17 19:12:36

I agree with you. If they are only concerned about charity fundraising, they would do it here. They obviously want to travel and raise something for charity as an added bonus.

Christinefrance Sun 05-Feb-17 19:16:58

Not sure about this one, they were actually doing something for the money. I would look at it the other way and say they wanted to travel and were raising money for charity as well.

NfkDumpling Sun 05-Feb-17 19:17:04

No, I don't think so. What's wrong with doing a Peaks challenge or climbing Snowdon? Or clearing rubbish from beaches.

I'm looking for sponsorship for a safari. I need £2,000. I can't walk far so my challenge is to travel by jeep for six hours each day searching for big cats. It'll be quite an exhausting challenge!

rosesarered Sun 05-Feb-17 19:20:42

Nfk grin
I agree completely. There is little point travelling so far if all you want to do is raise can be done here.

thatbags Sun 05-Feb-17 19:21:02

No, you are not being mean. It's not mean to have doubts about some kinds of fund-raising. Besides which, you are not obliged to give money to every charity or cause that asks for it. Just give to causes using methods that don't make you feel uncomfortable.

Cherrytree59 Sun 05-Feb-17 19:21:24

confused. Think you might have got your numbers mixed up.
A sponsored walk equates to somebody else giving them money.
Going Kilimanjaro would be a great experience and they will see where money is going
Who knows in the future one of the youngsters maybe inspired to go and do more charitable work abroad.

Ana Sun 05-Feb-17 19:24:03

I don't understand what you mean, Cherrytree - could you elaborate, please? confused

trisher Sun 05-Feb-17 19:31:50

I have long thought this was not really a legitimate charitable enterprise that deserves support, particularly as many of these young people have parents who could well afford to pay for their child's trip. I know that the fundraising is also supposed to provide evidence of that child's commitment and enthusiasm for the cause, but I think some other way could be found for this rather than taking money from people who may well be worse off than them.
So I don't think you are mean and I think the fact that they were unable to understand your viewpoint shows that no-one has bothered to discuss things properly with these youngsters.

Tris Sun 05-Feb-17 19:35:31

Climbing Kilimanjaro sounds preferable to other young peoples drugs and alcohol. Why not?

Cherrytree59 Sun 05-Feb-17 19:38:09

Apologies I might have wrong end of stick & misread
Op said to do a sponsored walk costing £500 pounds and give £1500 to the charity
I thought she meant raise £500 and give £1500 to the charity.!

I don't think the OP is BU.
She can give her money wherever she thinks fit
But I also think that the youngsters are giving up their time for something that could turn out to be very worthwhile.

Eloethan Sun 05-Feb-17 19:40:26

I don't understand this at all. What had Kilimanjaro got to do with helping the charity? I've heard of young people going out to various countries and helping out in schools, etc., but the example you mention seems rather odd.

I have read some articles that question the value of the contribution that young people make in these countries. I suppose it could be argued that it is important to see how people in other countries live and to help the most vulnerable. Others would argue that it is a waste to spend money on expensive airfares. Efforts should instead be focused on making enough money to send out skilled and experienced project managers and trainers who can employ local people to do whatever is needed - thus providing jobs and training. Alternatively, others might argue that if young people were truly only motivated to help those in need, they could give some practical support to people in this country whilst still supporting and raising money for overseas charities.

On the other hand, perhaps it's good that young people want to help others, and there is no harm in them also getting some benefit from doing so. I'm inclined to think that this sort of experience may well make people more likely to do voluntary work in their own country when they get home, in which case it would be a win/win situation for everyone.

Badenkate Sun 05-Feb-17 22:45:39

I don't think you're being mean at all mauriherb. That £2000, as you say, could be used to support the charity, instead of which it's going to some company which is making a living from organising these trips - and it appears to be big business. I also have the same problem with funding people to go somewhere to do a sponsored cycle ride or similar. Why can't they do the same thing here?

SueDonim Sun 05-Feb-17 23:28:22

I am quite sceptical about these things now, despite my son having raised funds to go and work for a charity in India. That was 20 years ago, before these things got popular but I do wonder.

It also annoyed me (probably unreasonably!) last month that a few people on my FB were doing Dry January and were asking for sponsorship for giving up alcohol. What's the message there? Are they saying they'll drink themselves to death if I don't give them any money? Whether they drink or not is for their account, not mine.

Norah Mon 06-Feb-17 02:17:24

I think it's lovely if kids go on this sort of trips. Foreign travel is educational.

Luckygirl Mon 06-Feb-17 08:55:27

I do not give to these schemes as it does seem crazy to raise money for young people to go on a jolly under the guise of charity fundraising. I have always felt dubious too about people who sponsor a child for say £20 a month, then go out to visit them at huge cost in travel. I am sure they would have been better off with the travel money going to the child or a scheme in their village.

But that does not mean that I do not think travel can be valuable to the young people involved. I would just rather support a charity that is giving directly to those in need.

M0nica Mon 06-Feb-17 09:10:48

No, not at all. I resent being morally blackmailed into signing up for any kind of 'sponsor for charity event'. If people want me to donate to a charity, just ask me and I can make a reasoned decision about my donating.

If it is DGC's school, for example. I will gladly stump up - and probably more than if I was sponsoring them to keep silent or anything like that. But others, say for Syrian refugees, where I am already making donations to an appropriate refugee aid charity, then I can say no, which is difficult when a friend says they are doing a 5 mile run for a similar charity and wants sponsorship.

Stansgran Mon 06-Feb-17 09:23:16

I was reading this the other day. Possibly came from the daughter site ( Mumsnet )

Stansgran Mon 06-Feb-17 09:23:46

Sorry couldn't shrink it .

Stansgran Mon 06-Feb-17 09:25:52

I always wonder what happens if they don't raise the money say only £1500 do they keep it as a consolation for not going or give it to the charity any way.

Linsco56 Mon 06-Feb-17 09:34:28

I don't think the kids explained this properly. DD did the trip to Kilimanjaro when she was 16. It was organised by her school in conjunction with a company called World Challenge Expeditions. The cost of the trip, including inoculations and kit was paid for entirely by the parents.
The money raised from supermarket bag packing, car washing, fetes, ceilidhs etc was spent entirely on assisting kids in a Tanzanian village where they stayed for a week before travelling on to climb Kilimanjaro.

I can only speak of my daughter's experience and she loved every moment of her adventure.

They travelled from the UK to the Netherlands and then on to dar es salaam, picked up provisions and then on to a village where they stayed for a week helping to paint the school and handing over the money raised by their fundraising events. This money was to be spent on equipment for the school.

After a week in the village they travelled on to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, then on to visit a Masai village in Kenya. After that they were on safari and finished the trip with a few days in Zanzibar. The entire trip took a month and was the first time she has travelled abroad without us. I fretted and worried the entire time but she absolutely loved it and gained numerous life skills.

So, unless this type of trip has changed, I can safely say that the charity donations raised by these kids at their fundraising events will be spent on helping underprivileged children in Tanzania.

Jane10 Mon 06-Feb-17 09:35:57

On occasion, pupils from our local posh private school have bag packing sessions in our local supermarket to raise funds for very exotic overseas trips. These are not to help others just to play rugby or hockey with other private schools.
I happily cough up for genuine charities but pack my own shopping as these kids usually chuck my stuff into bags any old how.

Witzend Mon 06-Feb-17 09:39:19

No. High time this sort of thing was stopped IMO. It's a case of asking people to fund them to go on a jolly, whether some of the money goes to a charity or not.

And as someone else said, when it's a case of sponsoring kids straight out of school to go and help do this and that in poor countries, it's bound to be the case that they'll need supervision and help - how many kids straight from school know how to do anything which couldn't be done faster and far more cheaply by local adults who could probably do with some paid work?

I don't doubt that it's good for UK kids to see how the other half live, and appreciate how comparatively lucky they are, but they shouldn't expect other people to pay for it.

Mauriherb Mon 06-Feb-17 09:39:27

Thanks for the link Stansgran. I am happy to support charity or sponsor someone to do something but I just felt as though I was being asked to pay for them to travel. Again, strangely, if they had said that they wanted the money to go travelling I would have respected that, but somehow this all seemed a bit underhanded. You can do the fundraising in this country then send the money abroad if necessary.