A new report on Sky news this morning got me thinking, how do you decide which charity to support? The news report dealt with the unwanted children of Greece. Babies abandoned in a special unit, babies’ weeks old with no names. After six months these babies are sent to orphanages run by charities but because donations have dried up one charity will run out of money in 10 days.
Run by the largest Children’s charity in Greece. ‘Smile of the child’ they are in a desperate situation but vow to do all they can to ensure these children will not be abandoned for a second time in their young lives.
These children are the human consequence of the economic crisis: Greece’s unwanted children, abandoned because of a crisis that began before they were even born.
My heart went out to them and as a European I decided to donate. After all this is on my doorstep, this is Europe, this is close to home.
But how do you decide which charity to support? My niece is having all her hair shaved off in August to support a cancer charity in the UK and of course I have donated. But do we donate based on who we know, maybe the illnesses the charity covers which have affected someone in our lives, do we donate to save animals from cruelty or extinction, to save the planet or simply for what we know the charity has achieved in the past?
There are enormous pressures to support charities, some pressures have even driven people to suicide. We are inundated with television and media advertising, every crisis has a helpline number to donate to, every crisis has a text number to give water, a scarf, a pair of gloves, stop girls from arranged marriages etc. and usually all for a few pounds. But which ones get your few pounds?
Do we have to give money to show support? Are there other things we can do?
When the tsunami hit Thailand in 2004, I was one of many volunteers packing supplies to be sent for their aid. When I gave up work I volunteered for the Red Cross in the UK. I bought lottery tickets in the UK and continue to do so here in Spain to support ONCE (a charity for the blind and visually impaired) I donate clothes and unwanted items to a puppy rescue charity here in Spain and always put money in the poppy appeal box.
How do you decide what to do?
Does charity begin at home?
If anyone wants details of Brave the shave or Smile of the child please let me know, I will be more than happy to pass on details.