Society Diary: Undergarments, the hat lady, and fundraiser confessions

12 Jan 2024 Voices

Civil Society’s satirical columnist fills you in on this week’s quirky charity news...

By Kevin Brine / Adobe

Greetings reader and Happy New Year! Diary wonders when it is customary to stop celebrating each other for the Earth completing another orbit around the Sun (shouldn’t we be congratulating the Earth instead? We just stood on it). 

Fresh from another Pulitzer-worthy interview, Diary spent this week looking at fundraisers’ confessions, expensive headgear and male celebrities’ pants. And then Diary began researching this column.

Make a brew, turn the heating on and enjoy Diary’s first round-up of charity sector tales in 2024. 

RNIB creates audio description for underwear ad

RNIB has audio-described a Calvin Klein advert that features Jeremy Allen White running around in the brand's boxers in a rather intense and broody way. This allows people who are blind, or partially sighted people, to enjoy the advert, which some TikTok users have had viewing parties of.  

Head of social media at RNIB, Becky Brynolf, tweeted: “My team has started posting Very Important Content on RNIB's new TikTok. Well, if Calvin Klein aren't going to make their adverts accessible, I guess we'll have to.”

In the audio description, listeners hear how Allen White “climbs and then raises his arms to the sky to show off his toned physique, and stares at the camera with intensity”. 

2024 must be the year for boxers, as it was also announced this week that the charity auction featuring Ed Sheeran’s boxers had raised over £27,000 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices. 

One pair of Sheeran’s boxer shorts sold for £330 and was set to arrive with a signed letter of authenticity. 

Diary can assume that anyone who sent their underwear with a signed letter would take it as a threat rather than a gift, so we won't get any ideas.

Hats off to Hilary

Hilary Fleming has been fundraising for the charity Wiltshire Air Ambulance for years, and 2024 is no different. 

The way she does so is by wearing a different hat every day and exercising for 30 minutes in it. 

After three years of fundraising, on 8 January, she wore her 1095th hat for the charity. Talk about dedication!

Because of the magnitude of the head warmers, they can span from your average beanie to one that looks like a traffic cone, a fruit basket, or a bunch of grapes. 

As it stands, Hilary’s JustGiving page has raised £775 for the charity so far from 29 supporters, and is aiming for £1,000. 

Diary wonders whether Hilary has her own personal hat room to house them. Where else would she keep them all?

Confessions of fundraisers

In other news, an X account is encouraging fellow fundraisers to share their misgivings and mistakes anonymously so people can learn from their mistakes. 

So far, one fundraiser has admitted to joining a job interview Zoom meeting with the display name Danny Devito. 

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