Friday, 11 February 2011

Not another charity bag!

Every week we receive at least two charity bags through the letter box. They are (mostly) worthy causes, children’s charities, Cancer charities, Shelter, Age UK. I always try to contribute something but there have been so many of them lately that my wardrobe, never overly full at the best of times, is verging on austerity.

I stood there this morning, bag in hand, wardrobe doors open, and couldn’t find a single item that I didn’t really, really need... ok I couldn’t find a single item that I won’t possibly need some time in the future.

I moved on to bric-a-brac. They want videos. That’s good. We no longer have a video recorder and besides I did my back in the last time I tried to keep fit with Rosemary Conley. I have a twinge of guilt in case the recipient does their back in too but I suppose I can’t be held responsible for everybody’s well being.

All the videos are in the bag but I need to make just one more contribution or the charity van driver will think it was a waste of time stopping by our gate. I hold a glass paper weight in my hand. Do I really need this? I’m reminded of Diogenes who threw away his only possession, a drinking bowl, when he saw a young man drinking with cupped hands and realised that he could live without his bowl.

It’s a lovely paper weight, heavy glass with a rabbit’s face etched on one side. Yes, I can live without this paper weight. It’s deposited in the bag and the bag is placed by the front gate as per instructions.

The van pulls up, the man grabs the bag. I feel righteous. He throws the bag in through open van doors. Our double glazing masks all sounds but in my head I can hear a crash. I really liked that paper weight.



  1. Ugh! I'd be so unhappy about that lack of care to their donations. Oh well, at least they come to pick them up. In The States we have to take things to the charity shops and donation bins.

  2. Hi Rosalind, nice ending to the post!

    There are no such 'charity bags' here in Malaysia. One of those little English memories that had faded from my mind.

  3. Hi Suzanne, I wonder if this sort of collection is peculiar to the UK. By the way, I only *thought* I heard a crash. It was wrapped in bubble wrap so hopefully it'll survive to weigh down someone else's papers.

  4. Thanks Duncan, I'm starting to think that charity bags is definitely a UK phenomenon. Glad to be able to provide a little nostalgia for you.

  5. ohhhh your poor paper weight. We get loads of charity bags too but I never for a minute tried to contribute to each one. They usually go back in the recyle bin but occassionally one hits at the right time and then I am very glad that I can just leave the bag of clothes outside the door!

    Lovely post

  6. Hi Barbara, yes it can be convenient to just leave the recycling outside the front door and I really must learn to ignore some of the bags. Another one dropped through the letter box this morning!