International Day of Charity

 

Charity. It can feel like a dirty word sometimes.

I remember when we had a house fire back in 2007, there was talk of a collection for our little family. A charity event our friends and family began to call it.

It didn’t sit well with us; we felt uncomfortable.

For a brief period we had to rely on local charities in order to help us move on with our lives.

While we gladly give to charities, it’s a very different feeling when you’re the one who needs the charity.

When Ethan was diagnosed in 2008, we organised a huge charity drive. It was so much easier to ask people for help; as this wasn’t directly for us or Ethan, it was for research into hunter Syndrome.

These days there are so many ways to ask for financial help; but that still doesn’t make it easy.

There is nothing ‘easy’ about having to ask for help, especially if the help you need is for your son, family member or even yourself.

I have looked up many ‘Go Fund Me’s’ and while many would break your heart there are others that leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.

I have come across ‘Go Fund Me’s’ for tattoos, a holiday, a kids free break, a house make over (not a house adaption), the list goes on.

These ‘Go Fund Me’s’ shadow over the ones that really are genuine and have used ‘Go Fund Me’ out of desperation not for entertainment to see what they can get for free.

In my world, there are many friends of mine who have no choice but to set up a ‘Go Fund Me’.

Having a child with such severe needs isn’t cheap. Grants aren’t easily received and often don’t cover enough.

Then there are the families who have terminally ill children who are trying their best to do as much as they can in the short life that their kiddies will have.

They may need an accessible home, car or even medical equipment which can be deemed as a ‘luxury’ to our wonderful understanding government.

What the heck could possibly be deemed as a ‘luxury’ when referring to equipment?

A beach buggy, a sensory room, hoists rails to run within the home along the ceiling, a buggy which climbs the stairs, a comfortable seat which reclines and is built around the person’s needs, a car which enables you to bring your whole family out…

There is no grant to help.

There is only charity.

Kindness of strangers and now, ‘Go Fund Me’s’.

‘Go Fund Me’s’ are amazing when used correctly and honestly.

On this International Day of Charity; I ask you to consider the families, the families all over the world trying their best to raise funds in order for them to live a life they could never have foreseen.

These families are in need.

These families don’t want to ask for charity, but have little choice, pride isn’t something they can let get in the way.

They have to fight for everything that their child needs, needs not wants. Needs.

If you have any money spare please consider donating to these types of ‘Go Fund Me’s’ ; if you don’t have anything spare please share the links, ask your friends to do the same.

This was originally published on Firefly

 

Author

geraldinesmyth@gmail.com

Comments

September 15, 2017 at 1:12 pm

I’m glad you were able to get the financial help you needed after the fire. It can be hard to accept charity but its so touching so many people were willing to help! Go Fund Me’s are invaluable to so many people!



    ger
    September 16, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Absolutely! Yes they do say if you want to see who your true friends are , see who’s around to help in a crisis . People are fundamentally good and do want to help, I think it’s more like a stigma attached to needing the help and receiving it, we all still have a ways to go .
    Thanks so much for reading !



September 16, 2017 at 11:23 am

There are so many hard working people and charities out there who deserve support so they can help more people in need. The Day of Charity is a great way to raise awareness.



    ger
    September 16, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    That is so true Fiona! Chairty needs to stop being a dirty word. I think awareness of the international chairty day is important . Thanks so much for reading x



Niki
September 19, 2017 at 9:44 pm

I’ve seen some go fund me pages which are just shocking. I understand what you mean about charity feeling like a dirty word. My 3 year old has developed Epilepsy and she’s uncontrolled. Suddenly we started needing things to keep her safe so we began looking at charity’s etc yet it still feels wrong despite her needing them. my friend then said charity’s want to help you. That’s why there there. X



    ger
    September 22, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Exactly Niki, your friend is right. I’m sorry to hear of your own circumstances. I know a lot of families living with epilepsy; it’s not a simple thing is it. It’s so hard to get that right balance of mess. I recently started Ethan on CBD oil , not for epilepsy, but it has made a huge difference to him and us. I know a good few families who use it to help control epilepsy. There’s a post I’ve written called medical canna oil, if you’d like to have a read of it.
    Thinking of you x



September 21, 2017 at 2:04 pm

I’m with you on this one – when used in the right way, things like GoFund me are great. But when I saw someone wanting a new camera, I was gobsmacked lol



    ger
    September 22, 2017 at 9:38 am

    And sadly there are many go fund me’s just like that out there making way more money than those that actually need real things like a wheelchair. Sad isn’t it



Joanna
September 22, 2017 at 5:58 pm

I think the Go Fund Me are a great idea but some people are really taking advantage of it, and I am not talking about the examples you have given with the trips or the house make-over. Some people use these websites to scam, they “steal” a story and then they pretend to be the legal reps, while at the end running away with the money. It’s such a shameful thing to do.



September 23, 2017 at 1:39 pm

I had no idea there was an International charity day, what a wonderful idea. I know there are some people who take advantage of the ‘go fund’ pages with scams, but there are so many genuine truly worthy causes that I just hope it never puts anyone off. I’m so glad people supported you after the fire, I can’t begin to imagine what that must of been like and I’m so glad people supported you with your son Ethan. I hope people realise these aren’t luxury items.



    ger
    September 23, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Yes it was pretty darn scary but did show us that chairty can be an absolute life saver . I didn’t actually know there was such a day either until I was asked to write a piece about it! Thanks for reading



Sarah
September 25, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Whenever we can we try and help with just giving air go fund me’s. I think it’s so important and you never know when you might need help back.



    ger
    September 26, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Yes Sarah go fund mes are so important to so many. And I agree, you never know when you will need them. I just don’t like seeing them abused and when I did need chairty I was so grateful for it.
    Thanks for reading x



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