Friday, June 01, 2012

The Case of the Not-So-Charitable Charity Drive

I'm a bit embarrassed to be writing this post as I'm about to launch into a raging rant, the fist-punching-the-air kind of rage while less than 48 hours ago, I was just talking about how it's more important to focus on the good things, stop bashing stuff, be Team Care Bear instead of Team Darth Vader.

But every now and then, the Care Bears do get pissed off when we see things that are so ridiculous. And this time it's a case of big organization attempting to be magnanimous with charity.

I'm talking about the case of Singapore Press Holdings' "Charity" stunt where they're putting up a Volkswagen car for charity auction. The money raised would go to paying for the subscription of The Straits Times newspaper for a year, worth $300, for 1000 low-income families. Yes, you got it, the money raised BY SPH goes back to SPH's bank account by purchasing SPH's product which is The Straits Times Newspaper.

Can I just ask what kind of charity is this when the proceeds raised by the organizer go back to the organizer's bank account? Okay, fine, so they're buying newspaper from themselves and it is still something for the poor, but how about doing REAL charity by giving out the newspaper FOR FREE and use the money raised to do more like subsidizing other things?

When I read a statement made by SPH, I literally did a 360-eye roll and laughed out loud:

Said ST editor Warren Fernandez: "We at ST are delighted to partner with Volkswagen once again for this worthwhile project. Those who bid for this car will help drive our efforts to reach out and support the less well-off in our community.

"We want to give the young in these families a precious gift: access to information and a window to the world and all its possibilities. That will help them get ahead in life. We sincerely believe a daily copy of the ST delivered to their homes will do that."

Having dealt with low-income families before in my previous voluntary stints, I honestly question if newspaper, instead of other form of subsidy, is what the low-income families need and want. Especially in this day and age where information is, in fact, quite readily available on the radio, television and internet. Not to mention there is already a supply of free newspapers like Today and My Paper (another SPH product mind you). Is a subscription to The Straits Times more important than to say practical things like $300 dollars worth of medical subsidy or grocery vouchers?

Warren Fernandez made it sound like these 1000 low-income families live in some remote island far away from civilization. Sooo remote that they have absolutely no access to information of sort and that The Straits Times subscription for a year will save their future.

What happens after one year when the charity tenure is over? Do they still get subscriptions? Or is their "window to the world and all its possibilities" suddenly get shut until further notice? What if they raise more than the $300,000 for a one-year subscription for 1000 families? Where does the money go to? What if some families prefer Chinese papers or other kind of subsidy for that matter?

I'm sorry, but I find this whole charity thing somewhat insulting to the many unsung heros out there who do real charity work either by donation or time and effort volunteering.

Having done all the ranting and bashing, it's "Care Bear Duty" time to make something positive out of it. I guess the one positive thing I take home with SPH's lack-luster charity gimmick is to do better when charity is concerned. That the real needs of the less fortunate people should come before personal glory.

Oh, one more thing! Don't underestimate the gift of newspaper because the newspaper can be a very useful resource too even if you're not proficient in reading. You can always use it to wrap fish before putting them into the freezer, clean the windows, or my personal favorite, wrap pet's dookies with them for disposal!


Tiffany said...

LOL!!!! on your last paragraph!!

people like to say the darnest thing to cover up their backside, ya. as in the case of ST spokeman. kind of BS.

the cost of print is so dirt cheap you know and they are learning plainly from the advertiser and yet for clarity, the awareness still goes back to them. they should have donated the money to the poor family instead so they can stock up on the real needs like food !!

B said...

Precisely lah! I really don't want to be critical but it's just so hard to believe it's sincere when there seems to be some kind of ulterior motives and especially when they ultimate pocket the money. It's such a left pocket, right pocket situation and I feel embarrassed for them!

Not to mention the quality of the news these days are getting from bad to worse and it's so tabloid-ish all the time!

The whole thing is so patronizing I find. I mean surely, there are better ways to spend the money! Tsk tsk tsk!

Anonymous said...

i can attest that newspapers are the best for window cleaning. -hl

Tiffany said...

hey bertha

babe, how is ur cystic acne coping now? i think it's going fine. babe, killing cystic acne shouldn't be too tough but i found the discoloration of the brown spot is much harder to lighten , it takes a long time man and very sickening. what whitening agent u used for post brown spot ah?


B said...

Hi, the acne has subsided. I don't use whitening cos I just wait for it to fade. So just gotta use concealer. It normally takes about a month or so. Annoying I know.


Related Posts with Thumbnails