Nowadays I am surrounded by Givers – Time Givers, Skill Givers, Ideas Givers and of course Money Givers!
I’ve also been reading a superb book that had a whole chapter about Giving. The author talked about a day (in the future) when volunteering was just a natural thing – not something exceptional or noble, where whole families talk about their plans for the weekend and say – What are we going to do this weekend – are we going to see a movie, shop, volunteer?
I see more and more of that thought though – my family think nothing of changing their plans to help me and love being part of Team It’s Good 2 Give. For my own dad, (at nearly 82) volunteering is what he does every second sunday morning – tootles along to St Columba’s Hospice and is the receptionist for four hours. He has barely missed a day in over 30 years and any absences were only due to serious illness. (and that doesn’t count the hours of ‘volunteering’ both parents did just a few short years ago helping me with house and garden so I could concentrate on fundraising).
I read more and more on social media about folk taking part in this or that challenge, raising funds, supporting charities in many ways.
It makes a huge difference to people in times of stress, grief, struggling economically to know that someone cares – I know first hand how much of a difference small acts of kindness can make – have said often how much it meant to us after my stepson died, to find pots of soup on our doorstep, to open the door to friends holding trays of food to feed not just us but our guests as well, to have our shopping done for us.
That is where our Parent Packs started from – from me wanting to show parents on the ward with their very sick child that someone was thinking of them. The feedback forms we get show that it does make a difference and we will keep doing it until the day it doesn’t.
Making small gestures of kindness whether to people you know or people you don’t ( more Pay It Forward) may mean a lot to them and to you too.
As I learned last night of yet another young loss of life – another young person not granted the chance to shine as she surely would have, my sadness for her family is tinged with sadness for so many other people who don’t grab the chances that waft past them. The many children and young people I have known or known of who have lost their fights with cancer seem to have taken every opportunity that came their way in their short lives. Why? Did they somehow know?
How about we all go do something we love – doesn’t matter if we aren’t great at it – paint, sing, dance, write poetry, – I love It’s Good 2 Give – took me a long time to find something I loved so much (as opposed to people I loved – done that since I was born!) and I will continue with it and always always try to do better. I will spare you my singing or dancing! Feel free to join in by becoming one of our Givers – Time, Skill, Ideas or Money.
There are areas our charity still needs help with skills wise – anyone with graphic design experience, or who could help us design an e-Xmas card (for 2015), artists, art teachers – we would love to hear from you.
It may be a cliche but it is also true – this isn’t a dress rehearsal – we only get one chance at life. Make as much of it as you can.