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Last week one of my friends, who works for a charity, drew my attention to an article published in The Sunday Telegraph on 24th June 2012. It was this article about face-to-face fundraisers.
It was not the article itself that angered me (although, it was one-sided). I was upset by the comments that had been added by 100’s of Telegraph readers.
The comments blamed charities for many of the wrongs that exist in society. One person even stated that anyone who works for a charity must be without morals or ethics and is on a par with corrupt bankers. Well, that is charming!
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that this blog is titled “Mrs H’s favourite things” and ranting is not part of the terms and conditions. Therefore, I am going to share with you why I loved working for a charity, why I think that the Voluntary Sector is the backbone of society and why this world is a better place because charities exist.
I began to work in the Voluntary Sector over a decade ago. During that time I had the privilege to see the difference that charities can make.
I decided to work for a charity because I wanted a job that made a difference. I needed to go home at night knowing that I had contributed to a cause that would help change someone’s life.
I am not blessed with the skills or emotional strength to work in a day service with disabled people. I don’t have the intelligence or dedication needed to research into life-saving treatments. I would not be able to passively listen whilst someone told me about their desire to self-harm. I am not brave enough to go to a war zone and deliver much-needed aid. I also value my creature comforts far too much to visit a remote country and work with indigenous tribes.
I do know how to deliver good customer service and I am a people person. I seemed to have a knack for Legacy fundraising.
I may not have made the same contribution as the wonderful service providers at Scope; the researchers dedicating their lives to discovering ground-breaking treatments at Cancer Research UK or the amazing men and women who give up their time to listen to people in great need at Samaritans. But in my own small way I was making a difference. That made me proud.
Ideally, there wouldn’t be a need for charities but sadly that is not how life works. The world is full of problems – disease, hunger, homelessness, social injustice, inequality and the destruction of our natural environment.
Governments should have the resources and the inclination to address these problems but they don’t and they won’t. As a result, many charities were founded to fill the gap. They saw a problem in society and they wanted to help and make the world a better place.
Yes, charities don’t always get it right. It is hard to please everyone all of the time. But they are organisations founded on the best intentions. They have the desire to make the world in which we live a more pleasant and harmonious place. If not for you and me then for our children and their children.
So, next time you pass a fundraiser on the street, please don’t tell them to “f*** off”. They have not been placed there to ruin your day. They are there to help a charity gain the money that it needs to make a difference.
Would it be the end of the world to donate £5.00 a month to a cause you believe in? After all, it is only the cost of a cappuccino and a copy of The Sunday Telegraph.
P.S. Are there any charities that you are closely involved with? Or has a charity had a positive impact on your life in one way or another? I’d love to hear in the comments. xxxx