Charity Is on the Verge of Collapse
A stuffed tarantula, a voodoo set, dentures, and a live hedgehog, as well as billions of dollars in wealth, unique rarities, and houses - all donated by people to charity. When people donate things to charities, shops, and organizations, they are usually motivated by the noblest altruistic intentions. Although sometimes it may seem that it is also about the desire to pass on unwanted items to "good hands" :)
From time to time, people donate some really amazing things to charity, and today we're going to talk about some of the weirdest ones.
Socks from the president
Former U.S. President George W. Bush was a well-known fan of brightly colored socks with strange designs. Bush's meeting with his friend and ex-colleague Bill Clinton inspired him to wear funny socks with Clinton's face on them. During a friendly conversation with the head coach of the Houston Texans, George W. Bush wore socks with the team's logo, and at the funeral of his wife Barbara Bush he wore socks with books on them.
In turn, paying tribute to Mr. Bush Sr.'s activities, Americans even organized a "sock flash mob": on the occasion of Bush's 89th birthday, people took pictures of their feet in various socks and posted them online. Among the participants were former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
During his lifetime, the ex-president's socks became a real meme and gained popularity. So one day, the ex-president decided to donate a pair of his famous socks to raise funds for the church.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland reported that it had received a donation of the former US president's socks, which Bush Sr. wore to a meeting with another US president, Bill Clinton, during a harvest ball.
George W. Bush also added a note to the donation. "I really love this pair of crazy socks. But on the other hand, Barbara (the president's wife) has had enough," Bush joked, hinting that his wife was already tired of his socks, so he didn't mind getting rid of one pair for charity.
The unique socks were put up for auction and sold to the highest bidder - $535.
Then Jim McGrath, Bush's press secretary and speechwriter, wrote about the successful sock auction and tweeted a photo of the well-dressed former president with his wife Barbara and daughters, in which Bush smiles while wearing his most eccentric socks.
Even at his own funeral, Bush, who was a Navy pilot in World War II, did not change his tradition and was buried in socks with airplane images, and all those attending the ceremony were encouraged to wear colorful socks in memory of the former President.
An apartment for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Mykola Ivanovych, an 85-year-old resident of Sumy, Ukraine, sold his real estate and donated $35,000 (about UAH 1.4 million) to a charity fund to help the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Mykola Ivanovych is a native of Sumy. He recently lost his wife, and even earlier - his son. One day, he decided to sell his apartment and the land he owned in order to support Ukraine's defenders in the war with Russia and contribute to Ukraine's victory.
Having sold his house, he asked his niece to find a volunteer foundation that helps soldiers at the front and transferred all the money received from the transaction.
The charity's team was shocked by this decision. "For the second day, our team has been trying to accept this fact. Perhaps, such things do not require any further comments," emphasized the Sumy Public Foundation, to which the man made the donation.
The Ukrainian pensioner himself, Mykola Ivanovych, assured us at the time that he did not need the money, his pension was enough to live on.
A book of precious etchings
One day, a battered book without a binding was thrown into a chest at an Oxfam charity shop in Olney, Buckinghamshire, UK.
As it turned out later, it was a precious folio with works by a famous Italian artist of the 18th century. The rare art book contained 52 etchings of different views of Rome by Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
The book caught the eye of Tim Street, an attentive employee and volunteer at the Oxfam store. According to the BBC, Mr. Street explained that at first he did not see anything special in the publication, but then he became interested in the engravings and the artist himself.
As a result, the true value of the "charitable donation" was established. As it turned out, Giovanni Battista Piranesi was an Italian architect and artist of the Neoclassical era, best known for his etchings of Rome and fictional prisons. His works are rarely offered for sale on the open market.
Piranesi's etchings and drawings were intended to "celebrate the ancient heritage of Rome," as the artist was fascinated by the engineering and architectural skills of the Romans and was also a keen archaeologist.
The book was auctioned at Cheffins Fine Art Auctioneers in Cambridge and sold for £30,000. Oxfam store manager Joanna Papworth-Smith said the book "could easily have been overlooked" and added that the money raised from the sale "will help change the lives of people living in poverty."
"We were delighted to be able to offer these important works for sale and the price achieved is a strong result that we hope it will help Oxfam in its important work," said Charles Ashton, director of Cheffins.
Chuck Feeney spent 38 years accumulating billions of dollars on a duty-free empire and then decided to "give it all away." The man spent $8 billion on charity, donating to charities and universities worldwide. According to The Guardian, in 2021, the man achieved his goal - the Atlantic Philanthropies Foundation, which he secretly created in 1982, announced its closure.
"For those who are interested in what it's like to give billions in your lifetime, try it: you'll love it," said Feeney.
The businessman, who deliberately did not make his donations public, calls on other billionaires to do the same and use their money to "solve the world's biggest problems." The businessman claims that wealth brings responsibility and that in fact, a person needs very little to satisfy their needs.
Feeney was known for his extremely modest lifestyle. The billionaire did not own a car or a house, "had only one pair of shoes," and flew only in economy class. Feeney also wore a $10 Casio watch and carried papers in a plastic bag. After donating billions, Feeney set aside approximately $2 million for himself and his wife to live on.
Donations in any form, whether it's a few cents or billions, a favorite pair of jeans or a bike you no longer ride, not only help spread sustainable consumption, they help you feel better knowing that you are making a difference, no matter who you are or where you were born.