So, here we are, Sunday evening, and this week I’ve been thinking a lot about charity. Firstly, what does charity mean to you and what kind of charities do you donate to? Maybe for you it means sending money to big charities such as Oxfam or Save the Children to help people in third world countries or war-torn regions of the world. Perhaps it’s to medical research charities such as Cancer Research or the British Heart Foundation. Or maybe you like to donate to animal charities like the RPSCA or more locally, the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth. All charities are worthy of our support, and usually I think we choose who we donate to based on our own personal situation, interests, or life experiences.
For many years we have regularly donated each month to BLISS (Baby Life Support Systems for babies born premature or sick) simply because my first son was born 10 weeks early nearly 23 years ago, and back then, there was very little in the way of support for parents, and so I became a regular supporter of the charity and still am today. Also, we regularly donate to the Devon Air Ambulance, the RNLI, and are members of the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust. But there are hundreds of thousands of much smaller charities out there that need help and support also, but of course, we cannot possibly give to them all.
Some people aren’t keen on giving to charities, quoting sometimes, “charity begins at home” and so I thought I would look up the official meaning of that phrase. Taken from the Cambridge online dictionary the meaning of this proverb is as follows: “You should take care of your family and other people who live close to you before helping people who are living further away or in another country.”
I’m not going to say anyone should do anything one way or another, but I did want to just take this opportunity this evening to introduce you to a very small and new charity fund, which some of you will already be aware of but most of you won’t, that has been set up this last week for a little girl called Elsie who is 3 and who is very much part of our Music with Mummy family here in Torbay, having been coming to classes since she was a tiny baby. And I say family, as in my daily conversations with my family and friends, I talk about you all as if you really are my family, you’re all “one of my mums/dads/grandmas”, or, “one of my little boys”, or “my twins who come to class”, you get the picture. And I know that most of the children who do come to class always think they are coming to “Carol’s House” when they come to music class at either Marldon or Goodrington!
So, in a nutshell, Elsie, one of our own who lives on your doorstep, she needs your help. She has Cerebral Palsy as a result of complications from a premature arrival, and she needs an operation to help her stay as independent as possible as she grows. The operation is no longer available on the NHS yet the NHS specialists have said this is what she needs. The operation to start with is £50,000 and there will be ongoing costs and treatments moving forward. That’s a lot of money. So dear Elsie now has her own charity called “Elsie’s Big Stride” and you can find the details through the link about who she is, what she needs, and how you can help. Some people have organised raffles for cakes and paintings, some people are running marathons, and some people will be doing a 24hour bike ride I believe at some point. None of those are things I’m particularly good at!
BUT I am giving my time and enlisting your support next term by encouraging you to have a clear out of your cupboards and drawers of old Games Consoles, Phones, Cameras, Xbox/Playstation/Wii games, DVD’s you no longer watch, all sorts of things like that and I will sort, send and sell to CEX (the online buyer/seller) for cash that will all go directly to Elsie’s Big Stride. The reason I thought of it, is because recently, my son Nick went back to Uni, and he needed some more funds (as he’d already spent most of his loan… that’s another story!) so he cleared out his unwanted games, old xbox, wii balance board, headphones, etc, and he made over £90 – result! Imagine what you could raise between you if you all find even just one carrier bag full of stuff. It all mounts up.
So, I’ll be bringing information to my classes in Marldon and Goodrington at the start of next term, and hopefully if you can bring in your unwanted items to me at class by Easter, I’ll get it sorted over the Easter Holidays. And please, if Jenny’s Babbacombe classes also can get involved, that would be amazing. Perhaps if you can bring items to Jenny, I can collect from her. (Hope that’s ok Jenny!)
This will be mutually beneficial to you and to Elsie. You get to de-clutter your houses, and Elsie gets another step nearer her first Big Stride.
Charity really does begin at home.
Thank you #TeamElsie x x
PS. Please like and share Elsie’s Facebook Page too, she’ll be so grateful