Tag Archives: Salvation Army

Read the “Small Print” on Charity’s Appeal

東北地方での地震発生から5日。まだ原発は危険な状態が続いており、各国政府は、被災地のみならず東京からの自国人の緊急避難を促している。被災地では寒さが続き、燃料不足と被曝への不安から物資が届かず、被災者の方たちの苦難は続く。国内外で不安がどんどん高まり、気分が滅入る。そんな絶望的な状況の中で、イギリスで支援の輪が増えてきたのが、せめてもの慰めだ。

ただ、インターネット掲示板などでも話題になっている事だが、いくつかの慈善団体が、日本への義援金集めと言いながら、目立たぬ但し書きで「もし必要以上にお金が集まった場合は、余剰の寄付金が他の案件に使われることもある」と書いている(イギリス赤十字Save the Childrenなど)。私が何とか力になりたいという衝動で寄付した時は、東北地震と謳っているからには当然集まったお金は日本の被災地のために使われると思い込んでいたので、説明なんて読まなかった。売買や契約などの際は、きちんと規約を読むようにしていたけれど、まさか慈善団体への寄付も、詳細を隅から隅まで読まないといけないとは思わなかった。どの慈善団体もそうなのだろうか?最後尾にせよ、募集サイト上に書いている赤十字は可愛いもので、Save the Childrenなどは、「寄付」をクリックしたあと、右側にある「Donation Q&As」から「What happens if an emergency appeal exceeds its target?」を再度クリックしないと、表示されないという手の込みよう。

慈善団体は、彼らなりに今どこが援助を最も必要としているかを考えて、寄付金の使途を決めるのだろうが、特定の義援金集めを謳っている場合、人々は寄付金をその為に使ってくれると信じて寄付する訳だから、もしその他の事に使う可能性があるのであれば、そのことを人々に明確に告知する義務があるのではないか。これは掲示板からの抜粋だけれど、このことを赤十字に指摘したところ、返ってきた答えが以下の通り。

For sure that the charities allocate the fund wherever necessary and won’t waste the money (though British Red Cross is said to charge 28% commission), but I feel a bit betrayed if they call an appeal for specific cause but use the money for something else. I believe that not many people read all the description and know that their money may be spent for other causes, therefore, charities should be more clear about it – writing big or in red, or whatever make it more visible. Someone on the communication board pointed out the issue to the British Red Cross, and here is their response.

We always caveat our donations for international appeals as dependent on the coverage some appeals can be heavily over subscribed leaving charities with restricted money that they cannot reasonably spend and in some cases, as happened in America when Hurricane Katrina struck a few years ago, there is no option left but to simply give out cash grants to those affected.

Of course it is unlikely to happen for this appeal, but we are deliberately keeping it low level because the Japanese Red Cross has been overwhelmed with donations from within country and is now receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

As a developed country well able to withstand this type of emergency, Japan was not looking for financial assistance, but at the same time the UK public want to give in support of the appeal and so we have agreed to act as a conduit in the short term.

その中で赤文字部分が気になる。日本赤十字社などとやり取りをした中でこう言われたのかもしれないが、あれだけの惨状を目当たりにして、「日本は先進国だから自分たちの面倒は自分で見られる、財政援助は求めていない」なんて無神経な事が、どうして言えるんだろう。財政援助はいらないと思うのであれば、寄付金を集める意味などないのでは?イギリス赤十字社のサイトに、目標額と現在の寄付金総額が記されていないのも、疑問が残る。しかも、28%のマージンまで取ると聞いている。まあ、疑心暗鬼になっていても仕方ないから、被災者の方々にできる限りの支援が届く事を信じるしかないか。

↓ 今日見つけた支援情報

It’s been five days since the Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami. But nuclear fear still remains and many countries encourage their people to evacuate from not only affected area but also from Tokyo as well. It is freezing cold in Tohoku, but substantial amount of aid materials can’t be reached out to the evacuees due to lack of fuels and drivers’ fear of radiation. Fear and anxiety inside and outside of Japan has been heightened, and it makes me feel depressed. However, a little hope in such despair is that the circle of help in Japan is getting bigger in UK.

However, there is a concern being discussed on Japanese internet communication boards – some charities, such as British Red Cross and Save the Children, put “small print” on their Japan earthquake and Tsunami appeal, indicating that there is a possibility that the money raised may not necessary be used for Tohoku region, when the funds raised exceed the “need”. When I donated money to British Red Cross, I rushed to proceed without reading the description as I was so concerned, believing that all my money would be delivered to the victims in Japan. I always read terms and condition carefully when I sign a contract or purchase something, but I’ve never thought that even established charities use the same tactic that commercial companies use. Now I am confused if all charities do the same?! British Red Cross put the sentence on the same page of appeal at least, though it is all the way down the bottom, but Save the Children let us click twice to see it – it is on the second page after you click “give now”, then “What happens if an emergency appeal exceeds its target?” from Donation Q&As on the right – clever way to make it less visible!

For sure that the charities allocate the fund wherever necessary and won’t waste the money, apart from the fact that British Red Cross is said to charge 28% commission, but I feel a bit betrayed if they call an appeal for specific cause but use the money for something else. I believe that not many people read all the description and know that their money may be spent for other causes. Charities should be more clear about it – writing big or in red, or whatever make it more visible. Someone on the communication board pointed out the issue to the British Red Cross, and here is their response.

We always caveat our donations for international appeals as dependent on the coverage some appeals can be heavily over subscribed leaving charities with restricted money that they cannot reasonably spend and in some cases, as happened in America when Hurricane Katrina struck a few years ago, there is no option left but to simply give out cash grants to those affected.

Of course it is unlikely to happen for this appeal, but we are deliberately keeping it low level because the Japanese Red Cross has been overwhelmed with donations from within country and is now receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

As a developed country well able to withstand this type of emergency, Japan was not looking for financial assistance, but at the same time the UK public want to give in support of the appeal and so we have agreed to act as a conduit in the short term.

I am quite disturbed with the sentence in red. They might be told by Japanese Red Cross, but it is quite insensitive comment by such an established charity. Considering the intensity of the damage caused by massive earthquake, fierce Tsunami, and possible nuclear contamination, how on earth they can think that there is no need for financial help?! If they believe so, why they even try to raise funds for?? I also don’t like that their website doesn’t show project target and progress, as Ocado Japan Appeal does, so that I have a choice not to donate if the target is achieved and the further donation will be given to others. Well, no point to be overly suspicious, and I just really hope that enough help will be delivered to the victims in Japan…

↓ Additional information for help for Today

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Frozen Britain: the Country in Chaos…Again

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先週金曜日から北ヨーロッパを襲った大寒波により、またもやイギリスの交通網はパニックに陥った(参考記事/過去のブログ)。クリスマスを間近に控え、一年で最も混雑するこの時期にあたったのも最悪のタイミング。ロンドンでも最低クリスマスまでは最高気温は1度を超えず、しばらく降り積もった雪が解けそうな気配もない。国際線利用者数世界一を誇るヒースロー空港は、ほとんど麻痺状態。キャンセルが相次ぎ、途方に暮れた乗客は、いつ来るとも分からない吉報を待つしかない。

UK’s traffic has been paralyzed since Friday, due to the big freeze affecting Northern Europe (related article/past entry of my blog). It’s the busiest time of the year just before Christmas and the cold front came at the worst timing. The highest temperature in London has been just 1º, and there is no sign that the snow piled up on the street would melt away, at least until Christmas. London’s Heathrow airport, one of the busiest airport in the world, has been experiencing numerous flight cancellations and severe delays, and has been barely functioning. Thousands of desperate passengers have to bare with never-ending waiting on the floor of the airport, with a slightest hope of good news, that may not come for at least few more days.

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航空便だけじゃない。鉄道も遅れやキャンセルが目立ち、ユーロスターの発着駅であるセント・パンクラス駅は、行列を作る客約6,000人が構内に入りきらず駅をぐるっと半周、その長さは何と約2km。この寒空の中7時間待ちだとか(以下ビデオ/参考記事)。それでも、その日に運良く電車に乗れるという保証はない。そんな人たちを不憫に思ってか、Salvation Army(救世軍)のバンが駅にきて、紅茶やコーヒーの暖かい飲み物を人々に振る舞った(記事)。

Not only the air traffic, but rail networks have had severe disturbances such as delays and cancellations. Today at St Pancras International station, around 6,000 passengers of Eurostar have been waiting on a queue, stretching 1.2 miles/2km around the station, for seven hours under this freezing sky (video below/related article). There is no guarantee that they could get on the board today, though. For these poor passengers, Salvation Army‘s mobile canteen came on site, handing out hot tea and coffee for a little warmth (article).

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この混乱に巻き込まれた方々には、本当にお気の毒と言う他ない。政府は、これは何十年も経験した事のない異常事態というが、厳しい寒波もこれで3年目。昨日のニュースに出ていた気候学者によると、厳冬傾向は今後も続くかもしれないそうだ。寒いのは苦手なんだけどなあ。。。

There is nothing I can say but sorry to these people in the chaos. The government insists that this is the extreme weather that country hadn’t experienced for decades, but UK has encountered this severe cold winter three years in a row. According to a meteorologist on BBC news yesterday, this trend may continue despite the global warming… I hate cold!!

↑トラックの横転により、混雑する高速道路/An overturned lorry caused traffic jam on the M25

↓ 金曜までのロンドンの天気予報/5-day weather forecast in London

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