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Sunday, 9 March 2014


People in the Middle Ages would brew a batch of ale, have a big party to drink it, and collect donations for the needy. They called it a "help ale".

On one occasion, Jonathan Swift was admonished for preaching a charity sermon of such an excessive length that by its conclusion the congregation felt totally uninclined to contribute to the cause concerned. The next time the Dean determined to keep it brief and he proceeded to announce his text from Proverbs 19 v 17. “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord and he will reward him for what he has done.” He repeated this twice more then continued, “You, have heard the terms of the loan. If you like the security, put down your money.” Then he sat down and watched the congregation donate in a much more generous manner.

The British Relief Association, created to relieve the suffering of those affected by potato famines in Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland, was set up in 1847. It raised the equivalent of £47 million today — but too late to help many victims.

Famous early 20th century soprano Mary Garden used her lips to good effect, selling kisses for charity. One winning bidder reported “she is some kisser.”

Herbert Hoover, who was the 31st president of the United States, turned over all the Federal salary checks he received to charity during the 47 years he was in government.

In 1949 UNICEF produced the first charity Christmas card.

John F Kennedy was a Pulitzer Prize winning author for his book Profiles in Courage. The president did not keep his $100,000 salary; instead he donated it to charity.

The longest period anyone has stayed awake is 11 days, or 264 hours, a record set in 1964 by a school pupil who was raising money for charity.

In May 2005 Neil Armstrong became involved in an unusual legal battle with his barber of 20 years, Marx Sizemore. After cutting Armstrong's hair, Sizemore sold some of it to a collector for $3,000 without Armstrong's knowledge or permission. Armstrong threatened legal action unless the barber returned the hair or donated the proceeds to a charity of Armstrong's choosing. Sizemore, unable to get the hair back, decided to donate the proceeds to the charity of Armstrong's choice.

Former cricketer Ian Botham has been a prodigious fundraiser for charitable causes, undertaking a total of 12 long-distance charity walks. His efforts were inspired after a visit to Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital whilst receiving treatment for a broken toe; when he took a wrong turn into a children's ward, he was devastated to learn that some of the children had only weeks to live, and why. Because of such efforts, together with his spectacular cricketing achievements he was knighted by the Queen in 2007 at Buckingham Palace

The mobile phone number 666 6666 fetched £1.5 million in a charity auction in Qatar in 2007.

A car number plate bearing only the number ‘1’ sold for £7.1 million at a charity auction in the United Arab Emirates in February, 2008.

Bavaria owned the rights to Mein Kampf until the expiry of its copyright in 2016. Proceeds were given to charity – although it could be tough finding a charity willing to accept.

Former Uruguay President José Mujica donated around 90 percent of his $12,000 monthly salary to charities that benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs.

In 2014, individual Americans gave $258,510,000,000 to charity—more than twice the amount given by corporations and foundations combined.

35% give to charity at least once a month.

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