Are you a giver?

I had a phone call from UNIDEV last week. Unidev is the charity which raises money for the training of Guide Dogs for the Blind (chiens d'aveugle). I don't give to charities usually simply because I wouldn't know where to stop. I would love to be able to give a little to everyone but I can't. I will donate to charities I see collecting on the street, if I believe they are bona fida but I have to admit I did weaken when I received a letter a few years back requesting help with the guide dogs. I usually send them a cheque annually with the dogs very much in my mind and heart.

Anyway, the Unidev charity called me friday thanking me for my support and asking if I could pay by standing order monthly instead of the one-off payment at present. Their reason being it would make their budget planning easier to sort out regarding future projects etc. Makes sense to me.

Question is, do you give to charity(ies) ?

Not gonna bite Shirley.

La La Laaaa La Laaaaa

You are joking of course Carl, considering you told me to see a shrink a couple of days ago!

Giving is not just not just donating to charity....Direct debits and such.

It is about doing something nice for someone else....maybe someone who needs

a boost. It is wonderful to receive and probably even more exciting to give.

For me it could be a token gift....something different...or a meal with special


In return the person who receives will be happy to give too.....and like Jane

said it goes round creating a circle of generosity and kindness.

Well it should!

There was one set of friends who left me speechless.....well almost.

Nice one Bruce, you should be on the stage.....

....there's one leaving in five minutes !

Stevie Wonder felt that as he had earned so much by performing, he should try to give something back.

He thought how he could do it?

He decided on a sponsored sky dive.

The newspapers thought it was great but asked "Stevie, it's super but how will you know when you reach the ground?"

"It's easy...the dog's lead'll go slack!" he replied.

Quite. I have heard 'gossip' about certain people who only give reluctantly, then only if their name is on 'the label' and others who use the argument that they came from nothing so why should they help others get away from it when they have shown how they could do it alone! As if we all get the same lucky breaks. Nobody needs to give, there is not really any moral imperative that says we should although all major religions do actually include it as part of their doctrine (that people usually forget...).

As for FIFA, we ought to all chip in on a retirement home for the whole sad, deprived lot of them. I reckon it should have high walls, bars on the windows, lots of guards and doors locked permanently.

The whole point Brian is that whoever we are talking about we are not obliged to give our money away. Just because a footballing prima donna earns ten squillion pounds a second doesn't mean he has to part with any of it ...

I think we should start the Sepp Blatter Foundation to help FIFA executives worse off than ourselves !

There are similarly performers from TV, film and stage who do their jaunts for something like comic relief, get very involved in one issue or another, sometimes with a particular community or group of people and then give a large part of their earnings to them or people working with them. I certainly went into my involvement very cynical and learned a lot. I still have good contact with one now ex-actor turned director and another who has gone from comedy into environmental and nature programme work, both of whom support work with children a lot but have become very socially aware and active as a result. Both are well enough off but have turned down the life they would have if they kept all they earn for themselves. As the latter has said several times over, if he keeps 30 to 40% he is still far better off than most of the population in the UK let alone people he supports in developing countries.

There are a few like him about John. Drogba has donated millions as has Kanu who funds heart clinics in Africa. The most unlikely probably is 'Super' Mario Balotelli who gives half his salary to charity. Dirk Kuyt with his foundation and Craig Bellamy with his gives millions to help the less fortunate also.

A very noble act but we mustn’t forget that some of them earn the average national wage every 30 minutes or so. A very different situation from many of the people who have been targeted by charities through phone and postal pressure.
My favourite footballer story is about a player who I think is called Santa Cruz who probably played for Aston Villa. He came from Ecquador, from a village that was not even recognised by the Equadorian authorities. He donated money to his home town by financing the building of schools, health and sports facilities. His contribution was, ‘What others in the changing room spend on sunglasses’, but has made a huge difference to his home town. With a school and a medical centre the village now receives teachers and nurses from the Government, a number of locals have been employed in the ongoing building work and he hopes that the sports facilities will allow others to follow him buy developing skills that allow them to escape the poverty that they were born into. A lovely story about doing good.

Not to mention some sports personalities who give their time and money to help others. I don't know if many people are aware that the England football team for example, with all their totally overpaid prima donnas unanimously donate their match fees to charity. They don't have to but do so anyway.

Good words Jane. I have worked on Comic Relief as one of the unnamed advisers in the past. The 'personalities' get very involved but are no paid, some of the technical staff put in extra unpaid and ultimately all together raises a large amount of money that is used under very close scrutiny. Where money has been misused there is no second chance. I think Live Aid and SportAid experiences have taught good lessons over the years.

As for Avaaz, well we share that attitude and yes it is 'giving' before people comment. Giving some kind of commitment rather than, as Jane says, hand wringing.

We give to Red Nose Day, Comic Relief and Sport Relief because they are managed by the BBC. We also give to crisis appeals. I give my support to Avaaz as well, much better than handwringing and saying how awful, but what can I do.

I also give to others by trying to be a good friend. It is important to learn how to receive as well, because this exchange is what makes the world go round.

Unlike Shirley I avoid the in your face tin rattling collections. I ‘give’ to charities that are close to my heart and particular cancer charities and the RNLI are top of my list. I also help with an association that sends containers to a Ugandian community but that help is in the form of physical effort not financial donations.

Lots of worthy charities out there Shirley but some scams also so be careful !

We did help the local CSF (a bona fida charity of course) in the early days of the Association (which started in this area) but gave them up when we became disillusioned with their lack of interest shown when my late wife became a sufferer. I asked for help, mainly info but none was forthcoming.

Problem is, we can't help and support everyone unless we are Donald Trump so we have to choose carefully. Not giving isn't a crime and I would never condemn anyone for not giving for whatever reason but I personally find animal charities difficult to resist and I felt the guide Dogs for the Blind a lovely thing to help with. my choice, as you said Shirley.

ps - how's the moggy ?

yes I do, but it was only in the Uk, when their were people standing there with their charity Cole toon boxes, but never by direct debit ?prelevement. The one exception in France was when I helped out at CSF, then it was cash donation also. If I attended an event here locally thT was in aid of charity - we all know here, don’t we, that Association, is the French name/word for Charity!In the UK, charities,whether Bona Fide ones or not, are now bombarding by post and scamming a lot of elderly, single or living alone, people there. Have you checked them out online yet?

As CJS said below Peter, your choice!

In a word, yes. Not because it makes me feel good about myself. It doesn’t. But because I think if I am doing something, even something incremental, then I can believe others are too, and then I like human beings more and have hope for the future. If I let my selfish nature prevail, then I slide into a dark place where I think people in general s__k and the world is doomed.

Pessimists probably have a more realistic take on the world, but optimists are happier. Your choice.

Great post Barbara, thank you.

I feel that goverments, taxes and the rich should take care of people.

I am a person......we both are....we love cats and support 6 and give them

everything they need for health and we feed a few wild friends.

This is my view.