Tag Archives: charity

What Does “Charity” Mean To You?

When I was interviewed for the job I started a few months ago, I think one of the questions touched on why I was interested in a part time role and where I see myself in five years. In my reply, I mentioned that since I was sixteen years old, my priority has been the work I have done for registered charities, and that although my activity is unpaid I consider it my career.

By the time I started the job, it seemed as if the whole department had heard I worked for charities. But since that time, I have received so may odd comments about charities. I struggled to make sense of these for a long time, but now I have decided that the word “charity” clearly means different things to different people.

The reality that I work for international organizations who have been active in hundreds of lands and have trained millions of volunteers is hard to get across without oversharing. So I sort of grin and bear the comments I receive and let people carry on in their own rather fanciful or preposterous opinions.

I am going to give you a few examples of the things that have been said to me:

  • So do you do charity stuff to make your CV look good?
  • All charities are corrupt and the money you give never gets to the people who need it.
  • Do you go out in fancy dress with buckets fundraising?
  • Are you one of those people who all wear the same colour T-shirt and try to sign people up to direct debits for a charity?
  • Will you be helping the needy this weekend?
  • You must be a very special person to choose to be a charity worker.
  • It’s so nice you get to help out with charities, that’s what I want to do when I retire.
  • You must be quite well off to be able to afford to only work part-time so you can do your charity work.
  • I would help you with your charity if it is for abandoned kittens – nothing else matters to me.
  • I’d like to do something for charities but I don’t really have the time.

I cannot tell you how weird all these comments sound to me. I guess they just have a very different view of that word “charity” than I do.

Days Out And Cream Teas

One thing I have missed during 2020 is visiting beautiful historic houses and landscaped gardens. They are always a treat for a day out, especially when they include a cream tea.

I was thinking of a joyful day I have in my memory bank. It was a day when Goldfinch and I were at a location that has been used in many a historic drama. The scene of romance and tension, passion and rejection. I loved that day!

Nature, Green, Trees, Woods, Forest

I have absolutely no complaints about my time with Jack – 2020 has allowed us so much time together (especially the last five months)! But a lit of that time has been indoors and our walks have been mostly around the same areas. It would be fun to go visiting beautiful sites with him. Well….we will have to wait and see what the coming weeks and months entail. Jack and I spend a substantial amount of our time working together for the charities we love – which by the way – are thriving.

We have been overwhelmed by the incredible spirit of volunteers who have been supporting each other in their assigned social support groups for the past nine months We are also amazed that donations are not dropping. We have seen so many beautiful letters from volunteers who say they would like to donate to specific funds which are used to render aid to people in economic distress.

Because of the way our finances are legally managed we are able to divert funds away from projects that are postponed and use that money to help people who need it most. Sending aid through France and Belgium is often the most effective way to make the most of those funds because of the taxation laws in those countries.

It is exciting to see these organisations working dynamically and efficiently. I know Jack would love to be out in those areas we know are most concerning currently. But we have a lot of people, a lot of volunteers in every land who are very knowledgeable of local needs. Jack has been taking on more and more work and now works as a director helping to make major decisions affecting all aspects of the charities we work for. He has been a very busy bee this year. He likes being busy. He likes having someone to share this with.

When we have the chance – I think the two of us deserve some time to wander around a pretty house and gardens and enjoy cream tea together. But it will have to wait – we have more important tasks at hand.

I Don’t Know Where These Strong Opinions Are Coming From

I have seen a few things that have slightly irritated me. Don’t worry, I am not a person who gets highly strung. But I am scratching my head at some of the things I am seeing. I am starting to sense strong opinions brewing within me.

Mansion, House, Home, Estate

I saw a clip of someone very very wealthy sitting in his palatial home, relaxing in his sauna, swimming in his pool, working out in his gym watching a movie on his huge TV screen and telling the rest of the world they need to socially isolate, stop going out socially, cancel parties, holidays, nights out – it all needs to be cancelled until it is safe to resume.

Now the thing is…he is right. Please do exactly that! However, I could not help raise my eyebrows. I wish he had not shown us his palace. How many of us have a home gym, a swimming pool, cinema room and sauna  in our homes? What a twit!!! He should realize that many of us live in tiny homes and self-isolating is going to be challenging (but absolutely necessary!)

ceebsI have never been a big fan of celebrities, well no, that’s not fair. I’m not talking about people who are in the public eye, it’s people with too much money that I am talking about. I have never been a big fan of people who are allowed to earn an inordinate amount of money and then display their money in the form of swanky houses, designer clothes and handbags, private jets etc.

I am watching them now. Watching them closely. Are they going to sit on their fortunes admonishing everyone else to self-isolate and practice social distancing and not lift a finger to help everyone who is losing jobs and scared about losing their homes?

Who on earth needs more than £1 million? So when I hear that there are people out there, whether they are celebrities or not, with tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of pounds or dollars, I hope they think about giving away the vast majority of their ridiculous fortunes. If not…well, I am never going to buy their albums or watch their films, or cheer them on when they play their teams. Now I know that last sentence does cover celebrities, but I also hope that those of the ridiculously rich who are not in the public eye also pay heed.

Teamwork, Team, Construction, BuildingI have been volunteering for charities since I was sixteen and I have always been annoyed with celebrities who make token gestures. I love and respect Jack because he has given up almost all of the money he has earned and given up the chance to earn any more money so that he could be an international volunteer. He shares a flat with a bunch of other volunteers while he is in England, the rest of the time he works for charities abroad and he has to accept whatever basic accommodation is available. But those celebrities who live in palaces and get involved with charity to make themselves look good – grrrr! I have close to zero appreciation for them I am afraid.

wed (2)If you are reading this and you happen to possess a ridiculous amount of money – would you please think about giving almost all of it away in order to help the human family? Afterall, you are one of us. We are all family. In times of crises family should share. Family should love. Thanks for the clips of you sitting in luxury telling us to practice social distancing and telling us not to raid the supermarkets…but it would be great to know you cared enough to be prepared to give up your fortunes to help others.

Believe me…the love you show will be remembered more than anything you ever did to earn that money. I have a feeling that soon a lot of your “fans” are not going to be able to afford your tickets, merchandise, autobiographies. Nobody is going to care what you are wearing or how you style your hair. We will be interested in what you do to help your fellow human family in a time of crisis. So you may have to be prepared for financial losses ahead. I do hope you have learnt by now that love is far more precious than money.

Here Comes The Hot Stepper!

Tuesday…not always the most eventful day.  Yet, my Tuesday is set to be anything but dull.  I am scheduling this post to be published whilst I am helping to set up a charity fashion show.  It will be a very early start.

My tasks are all connected with making sure everything is ready before the start of the show…and helping to dismantle at the end of the day..

During the actual show I am allowed to disappear for a few hours and I intend to take this lap-top and try to catch up with both my writing and my reading.

Apologies for falling way behind…my excuse is Goldfinch.  He was the centre of all my attention at the weekend, my absolute number one priority, because as you know, I am very soon to lose him permanently.

Well…I should head for bed…the fashion gurus I have to work with tomorrow are not the easiest folk to negotiate with.  Some of them are so hilarious(without trying to be) I just want to laugh every time they wave their arms around dramatically and shout directions.