I should start by thanking Sara for this post – despite my pleas, she refuses to write me a guest post for this blog, but regularly gives me topics to write about when I’m suffering writer’s block. Apparently, in her pregnant state, Sara can’t watch the current NSPCC adverts without crying. This reminded me of something I’d been thinking about for a while – charity.
I wouldn’t class myself as the most charitable person – I’ve always liked to do my bit where I can, but I’m sadly not the sort of person that has a regular payment set up, or who buys the Big Issue religiously. I’m lucky enough to work with a few charities as part of my job, and will happily support them when they hold events (the Prince’s Trust being a good example). But ever since I’ve become a parent, I find myself drawn a lot more to charities – especially those that are associated with children.
I suppose it’s to be expected that having a dependent in your life will remind you of the various emotional and other connections you have with the world and it’s inhabitants. But I’ve been surprised by how things like the NSPCC adverts and other charity “appeals” have affected me much more as a parent than they ever did before.
The real “epiphany” came while watching this year’s Comic Relief telethon. I don’t know whether it’s a sign of their increasing skill in making heart-string-tugging appeal videos, or the wine I “rewarded” myself with after a long week, but the David Tennant video in particular had me blubbing like a baby.
I hope it’s not “gauche” to talk about donating money to charity, but I made three separate donations to the appeal this year, each one inspired by a film or appeal featuring children.
A few weeks later, I found myself listening to a podcast from one of my favourite podcasters, Kevin Smith. Smith has recently set up a charity of his own – “The Wayne Foundation” – in partnership with a lovely lady called Jamie Walton. I won’t do injustice to Jamie’s tale by retelling it here, but in a nutshell, Jamie was a victim of Child Sex Trafficking. She’s also an incredibly eloquent story teller, as you’ll see if you listen to their chat. Needless to say, Jamie’s story affected me a lot too – if you want to support Jamie’s cause, you could start by signing her petition here…
I always suspected that once I had a child, I’d become a lot more protective of whatever spare change I had – with maternity leave and childcare making a substantial dent in your overall income, I don’t think anybody could criticise a new parent for keeping a close check on their spending. But for me, the emotion that these charity appeals stir in me are powerful ones, and I feel pretty glad that I live comfortably enough that I can afford to give now and again.
I suspect a lot of parents find themselves caring more about issues that affect children, but maybe I’m wrong. I’d love to hear from a few other parents in the comments!