I raise money for charity and the charity pays me for doing so. Nobody writes blogs or comment pieces about how awful I am. There aren’t petitions to local authorities or Councillors campaigning for my removal. And yet, fundamentally, the only difference between me and a chugger is that I get a seat in a nice office and they get rained on and fidgety commuters yelling at them.
I have a theory that the problem with chuggers for most people is the nakedness of the plea. You can’t hide from the bright young thing blocking your path and you can’t hide from the fact that even in these times of recession that chuggers are raising for people less fortunate than you. Live on more than $1 a day? That puts you nearer the bankers than the huddled masses and nobody likes to have that pointed out to them. The arguments about chuggers costing charities money (they don’t; they more than cover their costs) is just a way of distracting from that essential point.
There are things I don’t like. I don’t like being asked by a charity I support and getting *the look* from a chugger who’s heard that excuse before. I certainly don’t like being asked by more than one chugger per charity per day. But then I don’t like charities that rattle buckets in my face particularly either, nor do I like it when I see celebs on TV donating their Who Wants To Be A Millionaire winnings to a cause they can barely pronounce let alone explain.
My photo is from Euston Station – a regular site for chuggers. They hunt in packs here. Next time you’re driven to distraction by them just ask why they need to do that. If the world was so fair, and the right causes being supported why would anybody pay a bunch of drama grads to stand in the rain to desperately try to catch your eye? The world isn’t fair and chuggers are just the messengers so please don’t shoot them.