Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh: Charity Christmas Cards

November 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Many supermarkets now produce some kind of charity card. It is important to read the small print on the back of the card. You may discover that only 8% of profits are donated to charity. How, in any case, is profit defined?

Where were the cards printed? In China? Under what conditions were they produced? How much were the workers paid? Has anyone involved in the manufacture of these cards been exploited? If so, in what sense are the cards ‘charity cards’?

Perhaps there has been no exploitation. But when people send me such cards, often cheap-looking, I do wonder how they came into being. Why buy such cards when there are small charities that sell genuine charity cards? No doubt their cards are more expensive. But small charities cannot subsidize the costs. Shouldn’t the price of goods reflect the cost of manufacture? To offset the higher prices, you can buy fewer cards.

See the cards sold by the Thai Children’s Trust (www.thaichildrenstrust.org.uk). This charity has an office in London. Buying their cards might not make good sense, if you live overseas. However, you could sponsor a child in the orphanage.

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