Are some people using charities as lifestyle choices?

Discussion in 'Letting Off Steam' started by Kerrigan, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. Kerrigan

    Kerrigan Frequent Poster

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    I got chatting to a neighbour the other evening that does a lot of charity work. He was telling me that there were people blatantly using charities as lifestyle choices.

    There was a case of a businessman availing of the hand-outs of a well-meaning charitable order while successfully still in operation.

    Some foreign nationals seem to have certain charities on speed dial.

    And the stories kept coming . . .

    As most charities rely on some Government money and the hand-outs of the well-meaning public; should there be a further investigation into the individuals that are in receipt of regular donations or food parcels?

    What I mean is should the charity automatically take somebody's word for it when they say they cannot pay their utility bills?
     
  2. Complainer

    Complainer Frequent Poster

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    Do you have any direct experience, or are you relying on 2nd hand information?
     
  3. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    My own direct experience of working with two charities that work in Ireland are very different.
    One was very careful about what they spent their money on and how much they gave.
    The other, with Vincent in the name, gave to all and sundry. They had a policy of never saying No.
    Therefore I don’t think that we can make generalisations about charities and how they spend their money but I would say that yes, there are definitely people who use charities to subsidise relatively comfortable lifestyles instead of working.
     
  4. Kerrigan

    Kerrigan Frequent Poster

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    I have no direct experience. Information was got from a reliable source though.
     
  5. dereko1969

    dereko1969 Frequent Poster

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    Did you have access to their phones?
     
  6. DB74

    DB74 Frequent Poster

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    I presume the OP is relating what his neighbour told him
     
  7. Kerrigan

    Kerrigan Frequent Poster

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    Exactly. I wouldn't be repeating random tittle-tattle only this person mixes within charitable circles and we happened to get talking about the economy and one conversation lead to another. He mentioned no names.

    It's no skin off my nose what people do or what they don't do but I imagine any day now a well known charity will grace our air waves and I just thought to myself maybe these guys should look further into who they are giving food etc too. Then maybe their resources wouldn't drop so low at the end of the year; after all it is still an area that is not regulated.
     
  8. Complainer

    Complainer Frequent Poster

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    This always worries me. If he is confident of his facts, why wouldn't he mention names?
     
  9. Kerrigan

    Kerrigan Frequent Poster

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    The names of the charities were mentioned but the names of the businessman and others that were in receipt of donations were obviously not named.

    Don't get me wrong - the charities are doing nothing wrong. All they are doing is giving a helping hand.

    All I'm saying is maybe they check things out a bit more. Whatever resources they have that are being wasted on 'suppossedly' people that are not as needy as others. I'm by know means saying every Tom , Dick and Harry is spinning them a yarn.
     
  10. Leo

    Leo Moderator

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    Have you contacted the charities involved? They are in a much better position to answer your query than the general AAM membership.
     
  11. Kerrigan

    Kerrigan Frequent Poster

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    Hi Leo, no I haven't but I will put pen to paper and see what they response is.
     
  12. T McGibney

    T McGibney Frequent Poster

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    In the current climate its not that outlandish for a 'businessman' to be in such severe financial difficulties so as to require help from a charity to feed themselves and their families. There are plenty of people in that bracket at the moment.
     
  13. ontour

    ontour Frequent Poster

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    I have come across cases where people have an expectation of getting help from charities because a friend did or they did last year. These people are by no means wealthy but they still have the Sky Sports subscription and need help with the fuel bill.

    I also came across cases where one family member had an addiction problem. It is a tough call to see someone in the pub every night but give help because the children need food / clothes etc.

    At the end of the day you have to accept that there are people who take advantage of other peoples good nature. There are many people who desperately need the help who are very embarrassed about their situation. To not offend the genuine people, few questions are asked but this also allows the less deserving access to the supports.
     
  14. Knuttell

    Knuttell Frequent Poster

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    That in a nutshell is why I don't give a cent to SVDP,when I make a charitable contribution I expect it to be given to people who actually need it as opposed to those who blatantly do not.

    If they chose to be politically correct and dare not ask a few simple questions to sort the needy from the chancers then that's their business but they wont be doing it with my money.
     
  15. Guest105

    Guest105 Guest

    Is it true then that St Vincent De Paul give money and goods to every one who asks for them regadless of income or means?? Somehow I don't think this can be feasable especially in the current economic climate, even their funds must be running very low at this stage.
     
  16. Complainer

    Complainer Frequent Poster

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    Based on this lady's experience http://examiner.ie/features/living-one-day-at-a-time-159687.html#.Tg7v9-ycbTk.twitter SVdP are far from being an easy touch, to the extent that she is now considering suicide to be a 'viable option'.

    These are indeed difficult cases, and I'm not sure what the solution is. AFAIK, some charities address this by giving vouchers or groceries rather than cash, which is probably part of the solution.


    Why 'obviously not named'? I don't understand this coyness. If there is a real problem there, why not get it up on the table for all to see?

    I don't have much direct involvement in this area, but here's my read on it. The chances that established charities like SVdP have anything to learn from somebody who heard a bit of neighbourhood tittle-tattle is tiny. If the apparently unworthy recipients of charity are not names, they have no way of investigating further.

    At a guess, these very large and very well established organisations know a thing or two about their end users. At a guess, the people who work for or volunteer with these charities are not fools.

    If all you have is gossip and no facts, I'd really suggest you don't bother. I'd also really hope they don't waste their time on a wild goose chase. I'd far prefer them to be focusing on their core business than justifying themselves to a neighbourhood gossip.
     
  17. Kerrigan

    Kerrigan Frequent Poster

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    Hi Complainer, if we take the neighbour and his gossip out of the equation and read the above posts, there are comments by posters who have worked in charities and have vouched that this has happened.

    That article is heartbreaking. You wouldn't wish your worst enemy to go through the heartache that lady is going through. I will admit It obviously puts a question mark on my argument to some extent . . .
     
  18. ontour

    ontour Frequent Poster

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    It is a sad story and makes me wonder why family and friends don't assist.

    Is €250 a week what a jobseeker with more than one child would receive in lone parents, jobseekers, child benefit etc? How much is council rent? Is there any published analysis of the cost of the most basic living in Ireland? If not €250 a week, how much?

    The OP's point was that there are people taking advantage of charities and I don't think that article proves that all claims are legitimate. With many charitable organisations that have a presence in the community, there is huge variance in the criteria applied. This may be due to the individuals involved locally but also to do with varying gaps between demand for help and funds in a given area.
     
  19. Knuttell

    Knuttell Frequent Poster

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    My opinion on SVDP has not been formed on this thread,this is a well known problem that SVDP have...the inability to distinguish between worthy individuals and feckless chancers.

    When I make a donation it is to Barnardos or to Trocaire.

    I may not have much choice on how the Govt waste my tax contribution but I have control over to whom I make such donations.
     
  20. micmclo

    micmclo Frequent Poster

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    I know the argument about needing good salaries so you get competant people to manage charities.
    Even with the paycuts I wonder how much of your donation ever makes it to the person who it is intended for?
    400 staff need to be paid before a cent gets used

    I also have heard the stories about SVDP and helping chancers, the common story of no money for food but money for sky sports but the people on the ground are volunteers.
    Maybe SVDP are loaded down with salaried administrators but I've not heard of it and I think more of the money would get where it's supposed to go