I’m ceaselessly amazed by people’s generosity. Its felt lile a big season of giving recently. BBC Children In Need felt a little more significant than usual this year for me as they’ve just awarded us the biggest grant we’ve ever recieved all for our boys work and it’s been a shift from small and local to ‘big project time’. Then the Band Aid and Ebola appeal… and general Christmas giving requests. We’ve been making shoe boxes and I’ve so many wonderful friends collecting for needy causes near and far. I have noticed a small backlash on social media. Articles about feeling bullied to give have been creeping into my newsfeeds, but on the whole I do feel that I am surrounded by a very generous community who are always looking for ways to give more; whether that be time, money, furniture, food, shelter or support. I’m needing to draw on the privilidge of knowing so many of these people especially at times like these when the news would have me believe people are so full of hatred.
We had a little idea last week of sending out pretty little Christmas postcards to all the young poeple we’d worked with this year. We have always tended to give out cards and gifts during our courses but haven’t had a plan in place to do a grand mail out to everyone we’ve worked with before. I likes the idea of sending a Christmas postcard, (its just a little different from a card), with a little chocolate coin and making sure they all went through the post. No one ever gets real mail these days. Its flippin expensive to send real mail and ridiculously easy and free to contact people in any other way possible. Most of the young people we work with never get mail… and if they ever did it wouldn’t be handwritten with time, love and care… so I wanted us to do that. I designed and priced up a card and worked out it would cost us about £100 to send one to 100 young people. We’ve had just over that on our courses this year. Its my job to think of nice ideas and Beth’s job to say if we can afford them… and we’re really not a spendy charity… we like to make sure every penny goes exactly where its most needed. £100 to us is a significant amount to be really careful with. Anyhoo, we decided it would be a special enough gesture… last Christmas a girl we’d lost touch with got pregnant and miscarried on New Years day but was too frightened to tell anyone so kept it a secret and really put her body, as well as her emotional health, at risk. When she knew she needed to get to the drs she thought of us and got in touch out of the blue and from that moment on we were back in her life and helped her with what is horrendous situation for a 14 year old to go through completely alone. Maybe, just maybe, a little note on a Christmas postcard will be that little reminder to another 1, 2, 20, 50 girls and guys that there is someone there for them?
We wondered if we’d be able to just raise a bit of that money through donations. We have done charity Christmas cards before and people have been asking for them this year (me being on MAT leave has meant that’s not happened for 2014) but maybe a few of those people wouldn’t mind donating £2/£3 to having cards sent out to our young people instead? Beth set up the page yesterday with the target of £120 to cover costs. It didn’t matter if it only raised a bit of that. Already less than 24 hours later and we’re at £175 just through our 2 little shares on facebook! People who are friends of friends who I have never met have commented with encouraging messages and donated… I think some people just know and understand the lovelieness of a little bit of special mail. Real mail. The kind of mail you will tuck into a notebook when its time to take it down because it makes your heart just a little bit warmer to know someone thought of you and sent you kindness.
I’ve always really wanted us to have a budget to send mail throughout the year… We’ve always made a fuss over birthdays with the girls we mentor… there are less of them and Benefit and Lush have been so good to us and always have sent amazing gifts so that we can totally bless them when we take them out for coffee and cake and present them with about £40 worth of gorgeous cosmetics in AMAZING packaging – which is just the best birthday treat ever…(I’m always just a bit green eyed at this part.) But how amazing it would be to have a load of cards all ready, and stickers and mini gifts with a huge stash of stamps so that we can just get in touch with ALL our young people on their birthdays, or when we read a sad facebook status, or just because its a Tuesday…!? Well as the donations keep rolling in I am starting to plan out this special post pot. I’m just a bit excited. It’s just such a lovely treat to get mail 🙂
The page is just here https://my.give.net/golddiggertrustchristmas for anyone who would like to add to this fund. Its dead easy and secure to give, so I am assured. Typically just £1 would send something lovely to 1 young person who needs a little friendliness and has been part of one of our ‘I’m The Girl I Want To Be’ or ‘Made of More’ courses… so even just £1 makes enough of a significant difference.