Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Charity

I once bought Christmas Tea from Whittards. This morning it seemed unlikely I’d be doing that again, at least according to an article I read. Things it seems really are bad for peddlers of non-essentials, which is, if we’re honest, what Whittards had become. Most of their stores I visited seemed to lurch from sale to sale, offloading oddly shaped teapots and novelty chocolates to those of aspirational taste and adequate means. Tonight I read that there is hope, but still all is not rosy.

Being out of the country I’ve no way of knowing if the British press are blowing the real mood on the high street way out of proportion. However, as voluntary workers funded solely by the voluntary donations of a fantastic bunch of individuals all this focus on financial crisis makes us all the more aware of how important it is to work wisely with what we are given.

I read Libby Purves column on charity. I had to agree with much she wrote. There is a danger of over professionalising, of too many layers, of donations diverted to fund bureaucracy. There is a danger that we cynical about giving. There is always need. And there is always someone shouting about it. Usually loudly! Compassion-fatigue is the new-fangled description for those bewildered into inaction by the competition for attention.

But having spent the last week watching hundreds of children and young people on the receiving end of the generosity of UK charitable giving I hope the current economic climate does not provoke self-preservation to get the better of the desire to help those who struggle for life’s essentials. To quote the King James Bible: And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

2 comments:

Family Business said...

Couldn't agree more. A friend of mine said a week or two back, "Now is the time for Outrageous Generosity!", and in his case he is taking his own advice. So much of so called giving is in fact the purchase of services. This has really challenged us and we have been reviewing our giving to see where we might "give, without seeking any return".

Trust you guys are doing well. Look forward to reading more in the New Year. By the way, thanks for your generosity.

David

Family Business said...

mCouldn't agree more. A friend of mine said a week or two back, "Now is the time for Outrageous Generosity!", and in his case he is taking his own advice. So much of so called giving is in fact the purchase of services. This has really challenged us and we have been reviewing our giving to see where we might "give, without seeking any return".

Trust you guys are doing well. Look forward to reading more in the New Year. By the way, thanks for your generosity.

David