Hear Ye! Since 1998.
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Jan 05

Seeking Aid

The other day, heading back into the office with lunch, I was stopped by an Oxfam volunteer. Have you heard of Oxfam? “Yes.” Do you know what we do? “Ahh… I know you’re an international aid organisation that… hmm… I’m not sure.” which was invitation enough for her to launch into a spiel about how they help everyone with everything, everywhere. Do you know what ailment 30,000 people die from each day? “Uh… Cholera? Typhoid?” I offered. No, diarrhoea. That’s right, such a preventable thing kills thousands each day! (As a sidenote, Typhoid kills around 600,000 people each year, and diarrhoea is a symptom of it.)

I asked where I could find out more information about Oxfam, which was probably not a good thing to do, because I think she sensed she had just closed a deal. She pulled out a payment book. I don’t have any brochures to give you – we being a voluntary aid organisation and relying solely on donations and all, but if you sign up now for a monthly donation scheme, we’ll be happy to give you more information. Obviously in this situation, when asked to enter into a continuous donation plan, most people would like to know more about an organisation and how it compares to the other worthy global aid organisations out there.

“Sounds like a good cause. I’d like to find out more about it first, though.” Ah yes, but if you don’t sign up now, you won’t get the chance! “Why’s that? I can’t donate online?” Oh no, as I said, we’re a voluntary aid organisation and are under-resourced – there’s no way to donate online. “No phone number I can call?” No, same reason. Basically it’s just us volunteers, roaming around the city, trying to reach as many people as possible. Did you know your donations are completely tax deductible? “So if I don’t donate now, I won’t be able to later on?” That’s right, unless you can find one of us on the street. I don’t like being put on the spot, and especially not when I was starting to think she was either a little ignorant or being deceitful. As if a massive organisation like Oxfam wouldn’t make it as convenient as possible to accept donations. I thanked her for her time, walked off, and checked the Oxfam website. Sure enough, there are many ways to donate – online, via the phone and more.