Last week was Christian Aid week. I suspect some readers will, like me, have had the joy of delivering their Christian Aid envelopes and then collecting them a few days later. The above not-really-humourous-I’m-afraid diagram illustrates the various responses one gets at the doors.
Now, one thing must be said. I am not a particularly heroic Christian Aid collector. Last year I volunteered for one road, and discovered it had six houses. This year I chose two roads which turned out to have a total of 19 houses. I approach the collecting with great trepidation, but I do actually quite enjoy doing it when it actually comes to it, so next year I will do three roads or perhaps even four.
As you can see ‘no reply’ is the most common occurrence when one returns for the envelopes. This is often because people’s door bells do not work or because they do not hear you knocking. I estimate (using figures I have just made up) that non-working and ineffectual doorbells cost Christian Aid about 3 or 4 million pounds a year. Quite a few feign ignorance, but this year I only had one entirely negative response.
I was quite pleased by the whole experience this year. Two houses already had their coppers bundled up in the envelopes waiting, and a further two found something to stuff into the envelopes. That is a better response than I have been used to in the past.
I think one of the reasons for my trepidation is that I really don’t like people coming to the door when I have no means of checking who they are, so I can understand when people are suspicious. If I did not know the person who collects Christian Aid envelopes in our road I might well not give them very much, preferring to send it directly to Christian Aid or something like that. It is asking quite a bit of people to give generously and provide their information to reclaim the tax when you look a bit shifty (and I do) and have only a hand written badge for identification. That said I know that Christian Aid would not be able to do much of what they do without the door to door collections, so I think it is important that we keep on supporting them.