Last week, here in the UK, was one of the yearly telethons that are held to raise money for those in need.  A huge portion of the donations go towards children here and in Africa and we always donate something.  Even if it is little.  The generosity of Brits continues to amaze me.  After Friday night, the total raised for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day was at £75 million +.    Later in the year we’ll have Children in Need and without a doubt over £100 million will be raised once again. It’s amazing.  And it’s not just from phone calls or throwing money into a bucket.  The people here really get into it.  A lot of the kids at Noah’s Mini-Strikers class showed up with their red noses on (our were in the car or at home torn in half from The Category 5 Hurricane Amy), people have bake sales, wear silly clothes, do crazy stunts.. anything they can think of that will raise money for the cause.   We’re sort of lazy here, so we just bought the merchandise and did the texting thing.


Comical Relief

With Twitter and Facebook on the scene now,  I saw a lot of comments over the weekend with people mentioning that they wished they knew exactly where their money was going or that they could donate to specific groups or families.  I totally get how they feel.  It feels a lot better to know that your £2, £5, £50, etc. has reached someone and actually made a difference to the intended people and didn’t just get put towards running costs of the charity itself.

In fact, earlier in the week I had contacted someone who is currently volunteering at an orphanage in Tanzania.  She took 6 months out of her life in the States to go across the world to help make a difference in the lives of a bunch of totally deserving little children.  I had been following her blog Living Lukundane ever since Jenny – The Bloggess – mentioned it to all her followers on Twitter. Wanting to help, but not being in a position to fork over enough to buy any of the supplies that they needed at the time or to make a cash donation that was worth more than the postage, I felt a bit guilty. Here were these children who have nothing; no material possessions of their own, no parents. Meanwhile, at home I’ve got these two children who have buckets of toys over flowing, drawers packed full of clothes, people all around them who love them and can afford to get them to a doctor at the first sign of something amiss.

Amy and Noah often read the blog with me. They love the pictures of the children.. and the animals … and just generally seeing what they are up to. In a few of the posts you can see a very basic and scary playground that Noah asks to go to constantly. It has a slide, so in his world it is PERFECT! I know that they are too young to understand, but I want them to grow up to be givers.

Perhaps not as giving as their mother. You know, I won’t be all that disappointed if Amy doesn’t tell me that she met someone from Switzerland at a bus stop and found out that they’d been stood up on their first night in a strange country by a guy they met on the internet and proceeded to offer said Swiss Stranger a place to crash for a couple of days. And if Noah happens to meet a woman in the street claiming that her car had run out of gas, I hope he’d actually look around for a car before handing over $20 in good faith.

But I do want them to be aware that they have, and others do not. That sometimes getting a gift for someone else feels just as good as getting a present for yourself. Luckily, we were reading Bekka’s blog and noticed within the post that the children at the orphanage love Bob the Builder and that they only had one DVD which was stuck in French. Perfect! Not that the DVD was stuck in French, but finally something we could help with. So we wrote the children a letter and got some Bob the Builder DVDs and once the final DVD arrives we’ll be posting them off to the children.

I have shown them the DVDs and explained that they are not for Noah and Amy, but for the children in the photos and videos. They are surprisingly cool with the idea and Noah keeps asking about going to ‘post Bob Builder for boys and gyals’. This makes me a happy bunny. Especially with Noah’s meltdown last week when it was explained to him that it was no longer his birthday, so the flow of presents has ended. It’s time for him to give to other people and who better to be receiving than the children at Nkoaranga Orphanage.
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P.S: Bekka has set up a little Amazon Wish List of things that would be helpful Nkoaranga Orphanage and Hospital Wishlist