Charity At Christmas
This year, for me, has been a series of events that felt like battles cries for selfishness, that celebrated self interest, and ignored society as a whole. I know many will agree with that, and many will not, either way, we can all agree that it's about time to put some positive energy out into the world.
There are several things that I want to do to help someone in need this Christmas, and the first in giving to a food bank. Austerity has meant that food banks are keeping thousands of families fed this Christmas. You will probably see volunteers popping up in supermarkets with suggested shopping lists and big baskets for donations - I implore you to take a list.
You don't have to buy brands, get basics. You don't have to buy the whole list, grab a few items. Even if all you do is chuck in a single carton of long-life milk, you're helping.
Next on my list is buying a Big Issue. I quite often do buy them and they are a good read. The Christmas issue tends to be a bit more expensive, but it's also got a lot more in. A smile, a chat and a magazine can make a day spent standing in the cold a bit more bearable. Don't think that just because it's a bust street anyone else is buying one. The most heart wrenching experience I've had of this was wondering through Wrexham at about half five after work and deciding to buy a Big Issue. I presented the guy with my fiver and he said he had no change because I was his first customer. I bought a sandwich for him with the other half of the fiver and bought the magazine. He honestly looked like he was going to cry. Selling a Big Issue can mean that much.
And lastly, you don't have to spend money to be charitable. Loneliness is a huge problem at Christmas. No doubt you have an elderly relative you haven't seen in months. Now's the time to plan that trip. If you don't have an elderly relative, you have neighbours, or there's organisations that arrange for you to have a coffee with someone who'd like a chat.
There's a charitable act for every budget. Let's end 2016 with a burst of generosity and happiness.