Tuesday, 25 November 2014

I have just written

a letter, a very cross letter. I have been very polite. I have made sure I have checked my facts. I am still cross so bear with me.
The Senior Cat came home from church on Sunday and waved the pew bulletin under my twitching nose. (My nose was twitching because it was clear he was cross about something too.)
I had thought it was a little odd that I had not heard anything from the organiser of the Christmas Bowl Appeal's local collection point. Now I knew why.
The local shopping centre management has refused permission for the collection to take place. If people want to collect for the Christmas Bowl they can, they have been told, do it at some other time of the year - and pay the shopping centre management for permission to be there.
Our shopping centre is over run with charity collectors. It is rare to walk into the shopping centre and not find a charity collector. They pay to be there. The majority of them come from an organisation which pays to be in shopping centres, pays the collectors and takes a cut for itself before any money goes to the charity. I don't give that way.
The Christmas Bowl Appeal is different. It is run in December with the idea that Christmas is also, or should be, about giving to others - especially those in need. Nobody gets paid to collect. The local organiser puts in many unpaid hours at multiple collection points. It is done on just one day of the year and the proceeds go directly to a project in Africa.
On a number of occasions I have stood there for an hour or more to collect. I don't like doing that sort of thing but the Senior Cat is too old to do it and - well, I can. I know, from my own experience, that it is seen as multi-faith by some. I have seen Muslims and Sikhs give - and give generously. It is, they have told me, "that time of the year for everyone".
Everyone it seems but the shopping centre management. So, I have written a letter to our state newspaper. If they publish it I hope it will cause the management to think again - something the shopkeepers will be happy to support.
After all, it is almost Christmas - isn't it?

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