Charity begins at home… but shouldn’t end there!

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NEW BOOK: The Girl in the Red Dress.

MUCH is made of the UK’s ‘chaotic’ charity sector, let alone those cringeworthy telethons.

Diva slebs demanding press coverage for ‘doing my bit’ and squabbling over fees, petty expenses, credits – just about everything. And the nauseating spectacle of super-rich, self-righteous presenters, actors and comedians lecturing us how and where to donate our money.

As for my own previous efforts at charity fundraising, these had some unexpectedly disastrous results. Following the 2005 Asian tsunami, I tried to help the British Red Cross fundraising appeal.

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This involved door-to-door collections of discarded stuff – clothes, toys, knives (all shapes and sizes), two sets of false teeth, what looked like a false eye (or an odd-shaped marble?), a mouse (hang on! A computer mouse) – and once being confronted by an overexcitable bulldog.

“Boris’s harmless,” its owner said with all the animation and charm of Theresa May. “Boris’s got his teeth embedded in my ankle!” I screamed back.

Best advice?

Donate to a recognised charity with an excellent track record like the Costa del Sol’s Cudeca to which profits from all my novels go, including the latest: ‘The Girl in the Red Dress.’

Briefly, this is about the young daughter of a local doctor cold-bloodedly left to die in an icy river, whose parents stubbornly deny any involvement.

Then a boy is also murdered, but it is investigative journalist Alice Myers who risks her life going undercover to search for the truth and justice for the victims confronting, amongst others, a famous TV celebrity.

Unleashing a chain of events leading from two child murders to an officer’s death, this psychological crime thriller depicts a race against time right until the shocking ending.

And finally, how did my Red Cross collection go?

Great! Until I reached the last house where the owner interrupted me mid-spiel: “Sorry, ducky. I’m in the middle of blowdrying the budgie.”

Words froze in my mouth as the door slammed shut in my face. I’d got as cheerful a welcome as a Trot at a Tory party conference!

So if, at the next UK general election, you need a sure-fire method of offloading unwanted canvassers, this lady has just the answer…

Nora Johnson’s other psychological/suspense crime thrillers ‘No Way Back,’ ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.net) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.99;£0.99) and iBookstore.

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