Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Give and ye shall regret

Well, well, well, some people have now been charged in court for illegally collecting money from the public in the name of charity. This is not surprising. I am sure many of us unsuspecting charitable folks have been conned before, either on TV or on the streets.

The authorities have 3 tips for us victims to avoid being tricked again in future, and I summaries:

1. Check the list of licensed fund-raising events on the NCSS and police websites.

2. Ask to see a copy of the Collector's Certificate of Authority...

3. Check the Charities Portal if the beneficiary is a charity.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I read these 3 rather useless tips. When you are out and about, you normally wouldn't have ready access to the internet, unless you carry a Notebook PC that has wireless and you are within range of an access point. While wireless@sg provides wider coverage than ever before, it is highly unlikely that even with a wireless device, you will bother checking the websites. Tell me, is it easier to say 'no' or spend the time checking those websites? No prizes for getting the common sense answer. So tips 1 and 3 are useless.

Collector's Certificate of Authority? Why bother? Either you give 10 cents or you walk. Anything can be forged nowadays, what with cheap yet high quality printers and software. Heck, someone even managed to pass off homemade $50 notes to taxi drivers not too long ago. Lets cross out Tip #2 also, which leaves us with nothing but our own judgement and generosity.

Doing good just got a lot more difficult.


Anonymous said...

Of course tip 1 doesn't mean you check on the spot.

If you are serious enough or care enough or suspect of fraught, you can not down the name and check later.

Tip 2 Why bother? then you just give or don't give. It is because of this attitude that people get cheated, as well as other things like allowing mosquitoes to breed, causing accidents etc.

Sleepless in Singapore said...

Aside from the occasional flag day, I only give through a few regular channels. Not that I have so much to give in the first place.

Still cannot understand why in properous Spore, there are so many Outreached Hands.

qa said...

I think your criticisms about the tips immature. Why not share some of your own tips with us.

Epilogos said...

Unfortunately, there are genuine organisations with genuine needs that organise donation drives through the time and effort of student helpers. I know because I work with them on occasions.

It is just that, in life, a couple of bad apples spoil the plot (I know I know, its broth) for the rest of the genuine seekers of charity.

Epilogos said...

Immature? If I were any more mature, I will be tricked!

Truly, we have to learn to live by our wits, and even then, there is no guarantee that we wouldn't be caught with our pants down once in a while.

We should be generous, but not blindly so.

qa said...

Hi pal,
I didn't say you are immature, it is the criticisms that are, meaning you are too quick to critcize.

For example you say Why bother? I'm sure you do not want to encourage this. Just imagine if people take this attitude when they want to throw litter.

Epilogos said...

Why bother? I am merely reflecting what the man in the street would likely be thinking about when faced with a donation tin or bag-carrying youth. Of course, that includes me (not the youth part though). Its just being practical, nothing to do with maturity or lack of it.

lita said...

I wonder whether those dressed in orange robes (for men) and white (for women) are required to show their licence? They carry a bowl and ask for alms. I knwo Buddhism teach about begging for food and not $$. You find the next moment they are having a good meal themselves. You cna find them every Saturday at the Bedok Hwker Center (in front of Temasek Junior College)