Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Something for Nothing

Recently, a story about hundreds of "Run for the Cure" t-shirts winding up, unopened, in a trash bin made the news here in Edmonton. It turns out, it was an "mistake" the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation admitted today. Generally, the spokesperson said, the shirts are donated to developing countries to help those in need. For some reason, this lot ended up in the bin.

I'm glad they realized their error but perhaps it is time we took a bigger look at the entire idea. So many places give things to their supporters as a token of their appreciation. T-shirts, bags, buttons, pens... The continual giving away of free stuff boggles my mind. I'm not a huge volunteer but in the past few years, we've amassed a silly collection of t-shirts in support of everything from Pride week to Adopt a Pet week. The majority of them have never been worn. TroubleMaker is the only one who wears t-shirts in our house and I can assure you, these are all too big for him!

I'd like to understand the point of asking someone to donate their time and/or money and then giving them a reward. To me, this is a gross waste of money, time and effort. Honestly, I am donating my time or money (or both) because I believe in the charity I'm supporting. Giving me something as a token of goodwill doesn't make me want to donate more time or money - it makes me ask the question "how much money went into making this t-shirt that is only going to end up in a dresser drawer never to be worn until we donate them to Goodwill?"

I am troubled by the idea that in order to get any person to do good things, a reward is required. I know in most cases, an 'entry fee' is charged and part of that fee goes to the production of the gifties, but imagine just for a minute that if the $5 it costs to make the t-shirt (that will likely end up as a cleaning rag or in a bag for charity) was actually put towards the charity, calculating $5 per shirt, times (a conservative) 5000 racers per location times 60 locations (number of participating sites across Canada) equals
$1500000 (in case you can't read the zeros like me, that is 1.5 million dollars).

That is a considerable number, don't you think? Maybe it's time we all just said "NO" to all the kind ideas that cost millions of dollars and put the money back towards the important things - like finding the cure!


  1. I have wondered that same thing myself. How much of the dollars that could be used better go toward these t-shirts, tote bags, and water bottles?

  2. I agree with you. boggles the mind. Also, clicked over to your post because we just had a little girl we named Brennan.. hi from our Brennan to yours!

  3. Mumma - it seems like such a small thing but it all adds up so quickly! Thanks for stopping by!

    Jill - congrats on your Brennan and welcome from my Brennan! Thanks for stopping over!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...