By Jackie Jennings-Bates
I had an interesting observation over the Christmas holiday. Since I am interested in charity, I subscribe to quite a few websites, newsletters, etc., related to that world.
During the holidays, whenever I looked at Facebook, I would see beautiful posts of celebratory meals, delicious recipes and piles of presents under the tree.
Those were regularly interspersed with pleas for donations to ease the pain of suffering of refugees in Yemen, displaced families in war-torn Ethiopia, and generally hungry, cold children in camps around the world.
The juxtaposition is stark. But what to do?
I do not claim to have any answers but I thought I would put the questions out there. It is even more ironic perhaps as we are celebrating the birth of Jesus.
I think he would be one of those people that would say, “I really don’t need anything for a birthday gift.”
On the other hand he did turn water into wine to keep a good celebration going. Nothing is ever black and white.
I am not claiming to do any better than anyone else either. I try to give what I can, and charity starts at home. Secret Santa can be a good idea for keeping the spending under control.
This year in particular, I think families needed to create some feelings of good cheer, and creating a special meal is a labour of love.
I hope we all feel a little more cheerful after the holidays and those memories may carry us through until the days get brighter.
As I struggled with the complex formula I was trying to solve I realized, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we can choose to do something to help. Anything.
When my husband and I founded our charity, I remember our first large donor asking what our purpose was?
“To provide safe water,” I answered.
“But my $50,000 hardly makes a difference if you are trying to solve the problem, does it?” our new donor said.
Without thinking too long I replied, “It does to the families that we can give water to,” and with that sentence, she wrote a cheque that started our work and provided safe water for 1,500 people in Northern Kenya.
It is not how much you do, it is what you do, so let’s keep doing what we can to make our world a better place.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.