Hey charities, this Christmas I’m not your $anta Claus
I’m all for the Christmas Spirit, but something’s got to give. And this year, it’s not going to be me.
I know I’m heading into Bah Humbug territory here, but I’m going to say what all of us are thinking; there’s only so much charity we can commit to at Christmas.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about the festive season and goodwill to all. Heck, I own Paulini’s Christmas album.
But while charities compete for our kindness during Yuletime, it all becomes somewhat overwhelming, and expensive. I’ve got my own family to think about.
According to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, we have more than 40,000 not-for-profit organisations.That’s a significant number vying for your donated dollars.
And while I’m partial to helping out where I can, the inescapable guilt trip has brought out my inner Grinch. No more door knock appeals, no more harassment on the streets, no more telephone calls, no more television ads. No more.
It might sound selfish and while I do donate to charity every year when I can afford it, like many Aussies I’m dealing with a rising cost of living.
Meanwhile, a survey issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers in October of this year revealed Sydney is the second most expensive city in the world, after Tokyo. It was the only Australian city to make the list.
“Sydney is more expensive than much bigger cities like New York, London and Hong Kong in a variety of areas including tax,” Sydney Business Chamber president and PwC partner Scott Lennon said in a statement. “Nor are we far behind in business occupancy costs, rental expenses and the internet.”
It’s difficult enough to keep on top of the bills without the extra demands of the season and my thoughts are with the families also finding their purse strings tightened. It’s been a tough year economically. Carbon tax, anyone?
Maybe I’ve forgotten the meaning of Christmas, but I’m being realistic. I’d prefer not to start my 2013 in a sea of debt to save face.
I welcome the establishment of Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, which according to the Australian Council of Social Services CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie, “will provide a national framework for proportionate, consistent regulation.”
Perhaps, this reform will establish a new path for Australian charities, streamlining the tens of thousands out there and developing consistent rules and regulation.
While I might not be donning the red suit this year and throwing cash to the masses, I’ll do my bit, but this year, it might be in the solidarity of a soup kitchen.
It’s a cheaper and it won’t drain on your conscience.
Merry Christmas, folks.
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