Don’t sponsor this woman…

Today on the radio I heard the DJ an e-mail from a listener. This womans holiday plan is cycling from the Netherlands to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, about 2500 km’s. A journey she estimates that will cost her 5,5 weeks. That sounds like a pretty crappy holiday idea for starters, but whatever.
The reason she wrote this e-mail was to say that she would like her holiday to become a sponsored event. She was looking for people to sponsor her journey and the proceeds would go to a women project in Nicaragua she visited a year earlier while on holiday there. I will not be sponsoring this. And I will tell you why.

Leave those people alone
First of all, I won’t sponsor you out of solidarity with the good people of Compostela who are completely fed up with all these ‘old-but-still-fit-and- I-will-prove-it’ cyclist from Northern Europe. They’re causing huge traffic jams all over the place. Second of all: you apparently have sufficient funding for a 5,5  week cycling trip even after you flew all the way across the world. If you really cared that much, you should have halved your second trip and sent the money you saved to your worthy cause and leave the rest of us alone. But these are just petty complaints. The most important reason is:

Show me you care.
The fact that you are going on a holiday is insufficient reason for any sane person to donate money to your charity! If you want people to sponsor you, do something you hate, not something you were doing anyway as a means of recreation. If you want me to care about your cause, show me you care about it. You want to run a marathon? Good for you. But I am only going to sponsor you if you do NOT want to run one but will do so anyway. Thinking about driving your Oldsmobile to Capetown to raise some money? I will only consider sponsoring you if absolutely hate travelling, chances of which are non-existent. These people are looking forward to their great adventure for months or years… that’s not exactly sacrificial is it?

Cruelty to mackerel
Why would I do something good in your name if you’re not going to do more? If for 5,5 weeks this woman was going to get smacked in the face with a wet mackerel, that would be a sponsor-worthy activity. If for 5,5 weeks she would feel an itch on her back at the exact spot where you cannot reach… that’s something I would sponsor her cause for. In her name.  In all other cases… I’ll send my money to my own selected causes in my own name thank you very much. But you go and enjoy your holiday. Look out for punctures.

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