Come here you! Everyone in for a group hug, come on!
Why? Well lots of reasons really but the main one is because we’re a generous bunch in the UK. We have proved yet again that when the chips are down we rally to help others. Now this isn’t an attack of the smug monster or a “oh look at us” thing, but in the last seven days as a nation we have donated around £65 million pounds to charity – well just two: Children in Need over £31 million and the Disaster Emergency Fund for the Philippines with over £33 million. That’s very nearly a pound per person that has gone to help those in need both here in the UK and on the other side of the world.
When it comes to charity I would genuinely like to know how far up the league table we are when it comes to giving to great causes – because if you consider that statistic above we must be up there with the best. No matter what the cause – be it for disadvantaged children, clean water in Africa, supporting political prisoners, the elderly, helping endangered species or illnesses like cancer, aids, Parkinson’s, heat conditions, strokes, or other ailments we put our hands in our pockets time and again without moaning. Yes at times it feels as though there is charity apathy when you’ve been asked for the fortieth time that month for money – and I’m also aware that people pick their charities because of personal connections – but we’re still great at giving and it’s a fantastic trait.
We are very quick in the country to put ourselves down and suggest (especially Scots) are tight but we’re not in any corner of this United Kingdom. Kids went to school in the pyjamas yesterday for Pudsey, men are growing moustaches for Movember, and text donations are helping all those affected by the Typhoon in the far East. And we all only give a few quid to a cause every couple of months or so, but pile all that up and the idea that you help those less fortunate than yourself is ingrained in us now and we do what we can when we can.
The sad thing is that more and more charities rely on the donations because the government cut backs – both present and historic – are leaving the most vulnerable in need. We pay more and more for less and less and those at the edges of society lose out every time. I would love for one day not to have to buy a Red Nose, or a red ribbon, or a yellow wristband or a poppy – but that’s just not the case. The one thing that the brilliant majority don’t tolerate in the UK is leaving people without hope or comfort and if it only costs a couple of quid then we all put our hands in our pockets and give them it. Our children know that too so the trend will continue.
Yes we’re all struggling – well those of us in he bottom 80% or so of society with the economy having struggled of late, but we all know that the £10 in our pocket that would buy us a chipper or a round of drinks is better spent on those who really need it when we are asked. We don’t do it for the attention or the thanks, but we do it because it is right.
If you are reading this and haven’t donated to anything of late then there are plenty options from the DEC Philippines and Children in Need, to your mate on Facebook who is growing a tache for male cancer awareness. Go on, donate and then come back here for a hug.