The North Pole’s capital fundraising campaign has announced it won’t be accepting a major donation because of the donor’s suspected mental health issues. The donation, which was announced publicly by London financier Ebenezer Scrooge last week, was worth $30 million.
“We cannot accept this donation because we suspect that the donor who made it may not have been himself at the time,” said Santa, CEO of the North Pole is Melting campaign. “We follow strict guidelines on ethical fundraising, and one of them is to not take money from people whose choices may be suspect due to a physical or mental illness. I’d rather we turn this money away than take the risk of taking advantage of a donor.”
Scrooge made the pledge of $30 million to the campaign after vowing to give away his entire fortune, worth nearly a billion dollars, to help lame children and the poor. In a bizarre ceremony, he burned the mortgages of several tenants and then ransacked a nearby toy store and gave all of its contents to passersby. Later, he led a parade of people to buy the biggest turkey in London.
The announcement caught many in Old London by surprise because of Scrooge’s right-wing, conservative political views and well-known advocacy for an end to welfare and the construction of poor houses. One newspaper editor called him a “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner.”
His company, Scrooge & Marley, made a profit of nearly $150 million last year, mostly through running low-end tenement housing in London and through shrewd money-lending through their investment bank, Scrooge Marley Financial PLC.
Police were called to Scrooge’s office in Canary Wharf later that same day as the announcement after Executive Assistant Bob Cratchit reported that his boss was acting strangely. Reports say Scrooge said he had been talking to long-dead business partner Jacob Marley and had been visited by a number of “spirits”, some of who had taken him back in time to meet himself in the past. He also kept asking “what day it was” and whether he had “missed it”. After talking with Scrooge at his office for an hour, police transferred him to Maudsley Hospital, a psychiatric facility in South London, for observation. He is expected to remain there for several weeks.
“Mr. Scrooge is comfortable,” his Nephew Fred told reporters on the steps of the hospital after visiting his uncle. “A change came over him recently. He wanted to help everyone and give away all his money. He so wanted to help Santa save the North Pole with a donation to the North Pole is Melting campaign. But he’s just not himself. We can’t trust a thing he says. This sudden, massive generosity is a sure sign that he’s as crazy as a loon.”
In a statement, Santa said he wished Scrooge all the best and hoped that we would donate to the campaign “when he is feeling better”.
In a related story, a strange hooded-figure, dressed all in black, was arrested yesterday near Scrooge’s home shuffling around and pointing at people with a single, gaunt hand.
“This whole bleeding neighbourhood is going crazy,” said one passer-by.
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