Raising money for charity has taken on a whole new meaning these days. Every day I go into Leeds I see people trying to get us all to set up a direct debit for this charity or that, or I get asked to donate to someone’s fund-raising challenge. I know the direct debits are cost effective, but I don’t like being accosted every time I walk down the street! Occasionally, I also admit that it feels as though I’m being asked to donate to pay for someone else’s holiday of a lifetime, which makes me wonder if the charitable element can sometimes get a bit lost, despite the good intentions. I’ve done it myself though, asking people to donate to my Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. Although given how hard I found that (there were tears), I feel as though I earned my charity the money through proper hard graft!
Anyway, onto the actual subject of my blog post. Recently, I was struck by something I read over at Dorky Mum about PennyBankKids. I didn’t go to Britmums, it’s not really my thing. But I did read lots and lots of tweets, blog posts and comments about it, and the one thing that everyone universally said was how great Sarah Brown was. She spoke about her small charity PennyBankKids, who, through their flagship project The Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory, raise money for research into conditions of pregnancy and premature birth (something I have a personal interest in, my daughter was born at 30 weeks) and support vulnerable children and young people get a chance in life.
What really struck me about the post, and subsequent campaign, is the brilliant simplicity. No climbing mountains or setting up direct debits. Just good old fashioned charity. The blog4charity campaign is asking us to collect our loose change over the course of a month and then send it in, whatever the amount, to PennyBankKids. The few coppers that we don’t really think about would make a big difference to a small charity. To use a phrase probably copyrighted by one of my least favourite organisations, every little helps.
So, I’m off to find an old jam jar to collect my coins in, and then I’m going to be brave and stick my hand down the back of the sofa. Where, hidden among old bits of toast, broken crayons and lost toys, I am sure to find a few coins to start me off. I’m also going to get the kids involved. What a great, straightforward way of teaching them a little about charity. Let’s see if we can fill our jam jar.