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Make a Difference this Christmas

At we have recently been flooded with requests for donations to school tombolas, Christmas fairs, Facebook charity auctions and many other worthy causes. As you can imagine, this causes us plenty of worry as we are not in a position to respond positively to most of these requests.

As a small independent business, we have no official budget for charity donations. We invest all of our time and resources into making our business more efficient internally and more attractive to potential customers throughout the United Kingdom. Our team is very dedicated and extremely enthusiastic and desperately wants to help every person or organisation that asks us for a donation. But we just can’t do it. Perhaps those asking for our help don’t mind when we politely decline, but it bothers us. Which is why we have decided that as soon as we are in a position to do so, we will work with nominated charities, or people, or organisations to make a concerted effort to raise funds and awareness. Bigjigs Breakfast Puzzle

Sometimes the best thing you can do for a charity is to tell other people about them. On the other hand, getting involved in charity and community projects is very often the most difficult but most rewarding way of being charitable. I have spent the last three years chairing a committee of volunteers that organised our local week-long village carnival. Although this may sound like fun – and of course it was – this mostly involved hours and hours of hard work and more than a little stress. For our carnival we put on multiple events over seven days, including an opening event with food and craft stalls, fun races, live music, the ubiquitous hog roast and plenty of tea and cake stalls. This year we finished clearing away this event at around 1am (around 15 hours after we started) and then some of us were up at 7 to set up the event for the following day – the annual raft races on our beautiful beach. The rest of the week followed the same pattern, so much so that after our final event (wheelbarrow races followed by spectacular fireworks) our committee was completely exhausted, but more importantly our community and its many visitors were thoroughly elated.

When our committee stood down last week, having organised three successful carnivals in 2009-2011, no one stepped forward at a public meeting to volunteer to take on next year’s carnival. And there’s the rub. This year in the run up to Christmas, many charities need your help and not just financially. It’s all too easy for us to get wrapped up in our own concerns and forget that there are many, many people who need our help. Let’s not forget these people and also let us remember all of those who give up their time to make life a little better or more enjoyable for people who need a helping hand. Try not to slip into the habit of thinking that someone else will volunteer, or that someone else will have more time to make a difference. We can all do something, however small, to make a positive change to all of our lives. What are you waiting for?

This Christmas I’ll be supporting Crisis and Shelter and will be making donations of food and clothing to local homeless organisations in North Devon. Next year I hope to become a school governor and want to work with groups fighting poverty.


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