Ok so many of you who follow me on Instagram (@mommaupnorth) or on here will know that I am a great one for charity, to point that I am a founding Trustee of The Rainbow Fun, Harrogate Children’s Charity, so when I was asked once again to speak at the Variety, The Children’s Charity Crystal Ball Event I was both excited but very nervous too.
When you spend most of your time questioning what you, why you do it and if you are actually any good at it, standing up and speaking from your heart about personal matters in front of 500 people it is pretty daunting. So, why you may ask did I agree ( again) but this time on my own, well this is why; compassion, passion and humility.
Compassion; I believe that we should try to better the lives of as many people as possible. This does not mean feeling sorry or pitying people but it does mean reminding yourself that there is much more to life than yourself. We are all guilty of seeing ourselves as the only things that matter, but we are not.
Passion; there is very little that I have real passion for in life, largely due to my depression, but if I feel something or someone is unjust then I will fight with all my passion to rectify it in any way I can. Most of my volunteering and charity work has been focused on children and children’s charities; Bliss, Charity for Sick and Premature Babies, Martin House Children’s Hospice, Together For Shorter Lives and Variety, The Children’s Charity and now The Rainbow Fund. My passion stems from years of feeling helpless , that my daily grind is worthless and meaningless. Helping others raises us and those around us.
This is not for any personal posterity but a means of reminding ourselves that there are people out there less fortunate than we are, more so for my girls to realise this. In a world which is led by the perfect fantasy laid out by the media in all its mis shaped glory, our children need to understand that the world is not perfect and that we have a duty to help others. We need to be less selfish. This is humility.
I’m not saying it is easy, we all lead busy lives where for most we work, manage the household and children, we may even be caring for an elderly or sick relative or friend, so even if you managed to do something small, and I don’t mean putting a few coins in a collection box (albeit this has its place too) but something more personal and tangible then we can all make a difference.
Here is are few tips
- get everyone involved. I have my children helping in all sorts of ways, from encouraging them to bake for school to counting wrapping prizes for tombolo.
- ask a charity if you can help with administrative; many smaller locally run charities need extra help and you can usually do small tasks when the kids are in bed.
- go online and find events that organisations are running to raise money and join in, we have The Midnight Walk, Colour Run and Fun Runs for which you either pay a fee or engage sponsorship. Kids love this!
- you could be really ambitious and organise your own event. This may sound daunting but it’s not really, it doesn’t have to be a huge task but what it does mean is that you are in full control (OK , I lied; this is both exciting and daunting).
- find a cause you are passionate about, this will give you a real sense of achievement, fulfilment a d purpose; this is the driving force.