Why can we give to charity yet find it so hard to accept charity ourselves?

Did any of you see this article in the Metro yesterday? It’s quite possibly one of the saddest things I have read in a long time (excluding the recent Kenyan hostage siege, of course).

I can’t believe that people would rather shoplift than turn to a food bank in their hour of need. Why is it so hard to accept charity? 

According to the UK Giving Report 2012, commissioned by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), although individual giving did decline from 2011 to 2012 there were still 28.4 million adults giving on average £10 to charity. The total amount donated by British adults in 2011/12 is estimated at £9.3 billion.

So if we are relatively good at giving to charity, why are we so bad at accepting charity when we need it the most? The majority of us would accept help from a charity if we suffered from a disease or an illness, hence why giving to medical research and hospitals is top of the donor list, so why do we shy away from help with basic human needs such as food?

Do you think we need to do more work in changing public perception of accepting charity? Really interested in starting this discussion….

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