Helping those in need – doing what you can, when you can.

A friend of mine shared this link on Facebook today.  I read it and was consumed by sadness for the lovely people of the Welsh Valleys.

I grew up in South Wales. Whilst my childhood was unhappy, I have to say that the love of the Welsh people was second to none.  My family was poor. My father had died when I was young and my mother was a working, single parent.  I understand about not having things, but I always had a school uniform and I always had shoes on my feet.

Perhaps it was my childhood which propelled me into a life of giving; the urge to help others less fortunate than myself.  I love volunteering and have helped many charities and not-for-profit organisations over the years.  Doing something for others brings its own return – the feeling that you have ‘made a difference’ to someone else’s life is beyond compare.  I usually like to do things quietly.  Unnoticed.  Sometimes I have to put myself ‘out-there’ to attract publicity for events I have organised, but most of the time I just quietly get on with things.  If you haven’t considered volunteering, please do.  If you’re unsure where to start, take a look at this link You can pop your postcode in and enter your interests and the distance you are prepared to travel.  Volunteering opens up a whole new world of friendships, new skills and the heart-warming feeling of having ‘given something back’.

I recently had a clothes clear-out.  I am mindful of those people who have nothing; those who sleep on the streets in the bitter cold.  I popped a post on Facebook, asking for suggestions of places to take my ‘worn but warm’ clothes.  I was surprised to see just one suggestion – I thought there would be at least a dozen! A friend messaged me to say that she works with vulnerable people, who would be delighted to receive my clothes and she is going to collect them.  But it did make me wonder – do people know ‘where’ to take their unwanted clothing and shoes, so that they can help people like those in the Welsh Valleys?  My children have grown up now, but many of you will have children who out-grow their shoes faster than they can wear them out.  What do you do with their out-grown shoes? 

I dream of winning the lottery and using the money to help others who are struggling. In the meantime, I will continue to do what I can, when I can.  I hope you do the same.