Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Friday, 20 May 2011
Now, child sponsorship is about as good as charity products get. So...
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
But since I’m only getting older and uglier, I also gave £260 to Dementia UK, who do a sterling job of caring for those with 'the cruellest diseases 0f all'. I’d hate to watch someone I love struggle with dementia and slowly lose their grip on reality. But it might just happen – and I hope there's plenty of advice and support available if so.
The rest of my money I gave to The Red Cross, who seemed to respond swiftly and effectively to the recent earthquake in Japan. Thankfully, I don't have friends or family affected, but these shocking photos blew my mind – and ultimately decided my charity choice...
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
I wish I'd been the planner too – so that I could tell people what their text would achieve aside from venting their anger.
Friday, 6 May 2011
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
I’m very new to the whole business of asking people for money. (In fact I don’t, I just sit near people who do.) But I’m a seasoned professional when it comes to being asked, and for me the things that work always involve some beautifully written copy and lots of tears.
Last summer I got an email from my friend Brigid, whose husband comes from very rural Punjab, Pakistan. His family is still living there, and two of his brothers run a school – the Daaman school for girls – funded entirely on charity donations, which I’ve supported. Anyway, the email explained simply that the village and most of the surrounding farmland had been devastated by the floods.
It was an extraordinary email, frank, direct and personal. It was letting me know, as a friend, that if I wanted to help it would be gratefully received.
But then, a few months after I’d handed over my small donation, I received an even more extraordinary email. Brigid wrote to tell me how my donation, and mine alone, had literally changed the lives of two whole families – renting one of them a room in a new house, and buying the other enough materials to set up a small scrap metal recycling business.
So, when I was given the chance to donate in the great Open Giveaway, I sent it to Brigid. The school, homes and lives are slowly being rebuilt. And I really look forward to hearing again how I’ve played a small but intimate part in that.
Thank you letters. What a great idea.
To support the Daaman School or Taunsa Area Relief Fund email firstname.lastname@example.org
However, a couple of things happened which suddenly made my charitable decisions feel so much more important.
First I learned that someone very close to me was going have still born twins at 28 weeks. Barnaby and Ellis were born on my birthday and we attended their funeral last week. One of the saddest moments of my life.
Then I was told about a group of girls and boys who were waiting for therapy from Action for Children specialists after being raped or molested by members of their own family. The centre that wanted to help them had put a request on My Action for Children.
I finally thought about my son's childminder. She has a son who has Crohn's disease. He's only twelve and I know he's having a rubbish time because of it.
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
As well as giving £220 to Ministry of Stories, along with Hannah, I also gave...
Set up in 1989, they work with young lesbian, gay, bi and trans people who have become homeless or are living in hostile environments. With offices in London and Manchester, and a bed for the night costing just £20, hopefully this money will go to good use.