For a few years now I’ve made an annual donation to a charity or two instead of sending Christmas cards, except to my very closest/most elderly family. I don’t do it to be smug or remonstrate with Christianity, it’s because: 1) I worry I might inadvertently offend someone by not sending one so figure it’s easiest not to send any at all and make it as widely known as possible 2) I had to cancel standing orders with a handful of charities after losing a well-paid staff job and haven’t had the income-security to renew them since so it’s nice to feel I can still do something to help others in need even if it’s minimal and 3) My extended family is spread out all over the world and could fill a TV studio. I’d have to start doing their cards in January…
It’s entirely up to you whether you want to send me a card or not, and obviously you shouldn’t feel obliged to. But I would be more than happy if instead of sending me one, you donated a few quid to one of the following charities close to my heart.
(I do, of course, give presents, and have an amazon wishlist of my own).
- Syria and Typhoon Haiyan: Save The Children, UNICEF and The Disasters Emergency Commitee (DEC) are running appeals.
- The Dyspraxia Foundation – supporting children and adults with developmental dyspraxia. They do great work but are a small charity – tiny compared to the leading dyslexia/autism/ADHD organisations – and they shouldn’t be. They’re always looking for more corporate donations and sponsorship so do tap me if you know anyone who’d be interested in this, too.
- Bliss: The Premature Baby Charity and Great Ormond Street Hospital – I was a very premature baby, especially by 1984 standards. Great Ormond Street helped me and my family then, and help many others today.
- The Samaritans – 24/7 support for people in mental distress in the UK.
- Amnesty International – Global human rights organisation.
- Oxfam – I was a shop volunteer for a while post-A Levels, when I’d basically had a breakdown and sorting through Account Executives’ last-season Whistles garb and old Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine * tapes a few afternoons a week was about as much as I was capable of. It was one of the better decisions I made during that period and even though it was more than ten years ago I still remember it with gratitude. ( * By the way, in the unlikely event that anyone wants a vinyl copy of Sheriff Fatman, I have one at home. It’s my big cousin’s and I’ve no idea how it ended up with me…).