Cough up, ‘cos we’re all going on a fundraising holiday
I am about to go on holiday… scrub that. Start again. Myself and a group of my well-remunerated stockbroker buddies are about to undertake a gruelling 800km ride from Adelaide to Melbourne.
20 years ago we would have gone on a golf trip, sucked piss for five days and told off-colour jokes. The times they are a-changing hey?
What’s also new… well not so new now, is that my holiday is now an opportunity for you to lighten your wallet.
You’ll be familiar with this because, let’s face it, I’m sure it happens to you every week or so.
Remember Gary from accounting who went hiking in Nepal last year, and Cathy who you did your CPA training with who trekked Kokoda?
Well once again, and not for the last time I can assure you, my holiday is your opportunity to donate to a charity of my choice.
It’s a great idea, because you see, like 100 per cent of overfed, wealthy westerners, my family has been touched by cancer, or diabetes or eczema or something.
You don’t need to know the details, or maybe you do - it would give the tale more poignancy wouldn’t it? And shield me from any criticism.
But really what this is all about is making us all feel better.
Years ago it was horrible. You had to do something really difficult and dangerous like climb Everest or reach the South Pole before you thought about shaking the tin cup in front of anyone.
But now anyone who’s ever wanted to do pretty much anything with a physical aspect is apparently within their rights to make a flimsy connection to a charitable cause and pass their adventure holiday off as a fundraising venture.
This has numerous benefits. For those who like to hike in Asia, it assuages that terrible middle class, western guilt I know we all feel when trudging past families who get by on less than $1 a day, while wearing our new GoreTex (TM).
For those in the corporate world, it gives you an opportunity to market your companies, both as contributors and fundraisers. That’s what’s called a “win, win’’ in those circles.
And for the rest of us, well it just makes us feel pretty damned good, without having to really put much effort in, and shit, it’s someone else’s money!
I know what you’re saying - hey, those deep dish Zipp 404 racing wheels you bought for your $5000 Italian Colnago racing bike cost $3300! But you’ve got to remember that’s retail. I picked them up online for much less, and split them into two airmail lots so I didn’t even have to pay duty for customs so I basically saved Australia $2000.
Sure, the combined value of our 10 bikes is more than $50,000, and if we had foregone the support van we could have donated that money to charity.
And sure, we could just shut the hell up, go on holiday and donate money ourselves.
Or even - and this is an idea which is so far out of left field I’m loathe even to utter it: We could all make an actual sacrifice, not go on holiday for the second time this year, and make a significant donation to charity and not tell anyone.
But hey, that would benefit no one.
We wouldn’t get to feel good, and to have others mutter in appreciative tones about us as we walk past, head held high in the knowledge that we have almost single-handedly made the world a better place.
And we wouldn’t be able to raise awareness. About cancer. Which nobody knows anything about.
Because that’s what it’s all about, people. It’s not about me and how sweet my bike is and how fit I’m going to be after riding all the way to Melbourne with a bunch of my mates.
It’s about doing something for the sick people, or the poor people, who don’t have the disposable income to fly half way around the world to go trekking.
And most of all, it’s about us.
Your generosity is appreciated in advance.
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