Would you trash your £100 clothes to save a life?

Or would you donate £100 to a charity to save 10 people?

An interesting point? I think so. And this got me thinking about the debate currently taking place around the Daily Mail’s obscure campaign, ‘Putting UK Flood Victims First’, versus 38 Degrees more sensible campaign, ‘Cut fossil fuel subsidies’, not foreign aid, for flood victims relief’.

I was reminded of something I tweeted back in November whilst listening to a very insightful talk by Patrick Jordan at UX Brighton. I paraphrased this post’s title from a part of his presentation, where he discussed the merits of psychology and the power of story telling by charities. I believe his exact wording was something along the lines of: ”will you help rewrite her story? If you saw a child face down, would you trash your clothes for £100?”

The Daily Mail’s argument is more focused around government aid than charity, but the two seem often linked in peoples’ psyche.

When Patrick read the statement it made me think of the negativity we so often hear about charities: about charity CEO salaries; if aid money is really going where they say; and what the impact was. I believe everybody has a right to question the finances of a charity – just as much, if not more so than a for-profit or government. But the whole reason charities exist is because of the gaps in government funding and the wider needs and requirements of our society.

So yes, charity can start at home, especially during the hard times and pinches we’ve all experienced of late, but the Daily Mail’s campaign is just typical of the diatribe that they churn out.

Of course it is dreadful that people’s homes have been ruined, and horrifically there has even been loss of life. But is this comparable to what is taking place in Syria now or the dreadful typhoon in the Philippines?

I would say no. We have access to luxuries – household insurance, a friend, family member or neighbour’s place to stay. And we have the organisations like the Red Cross at home, who are doing a sterling job of providing support, food and warm drinks.

Its a sad world we live in when people making an active choice to only keep charity at home and to stop looking after the people around us who need the most help. And yes, I would trash anything I own to save somebody else’s life. I also donate to UK and international charities and even have the pleasure of working with some of them. To all the good guys out there – keep up the good work and to the Daily Mail – just WTF?

Image© McKenzie Lloyd-Smith – Flickr