Giving Back

"Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life's deepest joy: True Fulfilment." Anthony Robbins

I have sought to make a difference for a long time. Up until now it’s simply been making charitable donations, buying a Big Issue magazine or contributing to a busker’s gratuity pot.  Giving impoverished people, living on the street, loose change.

​Too much to do

A few months ago, I needed to go to the Bank and came across a dishevelled young man who was in the doorway adjacent to where I parked.  He had a carrier bag, looking very forlorn and unkempt.  I sped off on my way to get things done, however this person troubled me, but that didn’t change my path.  Moving along without wavering, I had to get this done and that.

He was still crouching down in the doorway, when I returned to my car.  I gave him some loose change, gave him all I had.  When he took the money and said “thank you” I noticed he had wounds on his hand that were stitched.  I wondered how these were caused.  That small interaction has haunted me ever since.  Is the truth really that I didn't want the interruption, that I didn't have the time?

From that day to this, I regret not taking him for something to eat and drink, to see how I could help this guy who was all alone.  Lost and bewildered.  The next time, I won’t worry about getting a parking ticket or what I had on my to-do-list.  I’ll stop and enquire and offer to buy the next person I come across a drink and something to eat.  Just to see if I can help in any way.

It is important to notice and pay attention to the needs of people around us.  The fact is, most of us are too busy to be engaged in ​the present moment.

​Black Country Food Bank

This is why I am now a volunteer at the Black Country Food Bank, a Christian charity.  Very local to me, a great place to start.  When I can, I’ll join other charitable organisations on a voluntary basis.  I intend to make a significant difference in the quality of life of people less fortunate than myself.

As a result of the Black Country Food Bank's good work, in 2015, 9,700 adults and 6,000 children received emergency food and support.

To enable a positive change in their lives, there are so many people out there who simply need a little help along the way.  We can all donate time, expertise, resources or monetary support.  There are countless ways our generosity can make a difference.  I know most of you already do a lot to support charitable organisations, however we could do more.

Did you know that food poverty is rising in the UK, can you believe that? Oxfam and Church Action on Poverty estimate that over 500,000 people in the UK are reliant on food parcels.  Over 2 million are estimated to be malnourished and 3 million are at risk.  36% of the UK population are just one heating bill or a broken washing machine away from hardship.  And, 1 in 6 parents have gone without food themselves to afford to feed their families.  This is a sad state of affairs in 2016.

The public donate food and toiletries to the Black Country Food bank network.  Volunteers sort these at its distribution centre.  Once the donations are checked they are transported to partner Food banks.  These Food banks then give it to those who need it most.

​Donations

Every day people go hungry for a number of reasons.  Redundancy; benefit issues; domestic violence; debt; crime; low income; sickness and homelessness all contribute to people experiencing crisis at some time in their lives.

The Foodbank provides a minimum of three days’ emergency nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food and support in an effort to help feed families in need.

As this is a recent development, I’m really looking forward to working with the team.  I’ll keep you informed on how it’s all going in my blog over the next few months.