English customs: the sponsored bike ride
In some cultures acts of charity are an integral part of daily life. In the UK it’s more likely to take the form of one-off donations and we have special fundraising events to remind people to donate money. One of these is a sponsored event such as a bike ride. It works like this: I decide I want to raise some money for a certain charity. I decide to do a sponsored bike ride. I fix a date for my bike ride, then I go around all my friends and ask them to sponsor me.
When I was younger this would take the form of a piece of paper where each person would write their name and pledge a certain amount per mile. On the day, I do my bike ride and collect the money. For example if my mum pledged 50p per mile and I managed to bike 25 miles, I would collect £12.50 from my mum. Hopefully I got enough sponsors to be able to donate a nice sum to the charity I chose. The UK has many registered charities which publish information on exactly how they use the donations they receive.
The sponsored event doesn’t have to be a bike ride. It could be a walk, a run (5 or 10km runs are popular) or something embarrassing. Last November men across the UK were sponsored by their friends to grow mustaches to raise money and awareness for men’s health. Movember originated in the USA so I’m guessing events like this are popular over there too (care to comment, American friends?)
These days sponsored events have gone high-tech – instead of collecting money in cash, you can ask your friends to donate money through a special website.
Do you have sponsored events like this in your country? What are the other ways people in your country give to others?
Photo credit: Richard Callanan