Good news gives

I received an email from Oxfam today. I clicked on it, wincing, in preparation for what horrible headlines and images would greet me to make me feel bad and want to do something despite money being tight. Refreshingly the newsletter led with an incredibly positive story about how people were successfully rebuilding their lives following Typhoon Haiyan. Another story followed about how the charity’s team are pulling together successfully to fight Ebola. I then wanted to click on their website and find out more. Other good stories popped out including children in a UK primary school who had used their points for good behaviour to buy an Oxfam gift to an African village of a chicken. Other gifts include a goat, seeds, medicine, food etc. Oxfam even offer a wedding list service to buy resources for people in need – makes a refreshing change to John Lewis.

In fact, it is not penguins that should be making us coo with sentimentality during Christmas adverts, its people pulling together to help others.

With the opportunity to buy vintage designer wear through the Oxfam site and even wedding dresses there is now the opportunity to indulge in some shopping and know that you are helping society in the process – genius!

I received a letter from the NSPCC and on the envelope there was a picture of a depressed child and a slogan about tears not joy at Christmas. I couldnt face opening it, so decided to wait until later. Now I cant find it and suspect my husband may have put it in recycling for fear of the clash between our budget and the calls from an increasing number of charities to give. I now have over 10 missed calls from one charity call centre over a one week period asking me to set up a Regular donation. Im not in a position to do so But give when I can.

But this is never enough and the bad stories keep flooding in.

Charities like Oxfam know good news in many ways can be more motivating for people to lend their support. If something good is happening, you want to help to keep that good flowing.

This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.

Big is beautiful

I just watched Big Ballet on channel four and was incredibly impressed by the grace of the dancers. I assumed that because the dancers were carrying weight, they would lack finesse but I was very wrong. At the end one of their trainers who used to work for the English National Ballet praised the performance but said he didn’t think that big Ballet had a future.

Well I would like to request that it does have a future as I would love to take my daughter to such a performance so she knows that size is not a factor in dance – any size can look and move fantastically on stage. What also struck me was how quickly I grew accustomed to watching bigger dancers, to the extent where I would have found it strange for a very skinny dancer to appear. History has dictated that dancers should be skinny, bordering on skeletal but why? I say bring on Big Ballet and replicate this model everywhere where skinny currently dominates – from fashion to sport.

When we were on the cruise ship there was the Flo rider for budding surfers and more experienced semi-pros. The best female surfers, who were performing stunts and confidently swishing their board from side to side were big and impressive. It looked like the wetsuit may have been a bit of a struggle but mastering the waves was not.

Big is beautiful and such experiments as big Ballet prove that thin is just a passing fashion, like mini-skirts or polo necks. Its time for a change.

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef, a charity that works hard to protect vulnerable children and their families, such as those who lost homes and loved ones during Typhoon Haiyan. If you like this blog, plea support the campaign by donating a pound or a dollar here.

Thanks for reading.

Disasters dont stop you wanting a little black dress or a cuddly toy

I never win anything and then I received the news that I had won 100 pounds worth of high street vouchers from my daughter’s school raffle – result! Arrived just in time for me to get her Christmas present that my hubby and I were stressing about whether we could afford it.

I helped again with the Philippines collection today and was heartened to see what people had donated some non-essential but valued items. Even after a typhoon it is nice to have been given a designer dress in addition to kitchen equipment and duvets. As my colleague said, there are a lot of romance stories brewing in these donations through clothes designed to get love going – and why the hell not. The main religion in the Philippines is catholocism, so I was pleased to see a big box of gorgeous Christmas decorations on their way to the islands.

The ne donated item that really struck a chord with me though, was the big boxes packed full of teddy bears and cuddly toys. I saw a striking picture in TES of a man carrying two mud soaked bears down a litter strewn street in the aftermath of the typhoon. It s ovely to be able to give toys for children who have lost everything. The lady organising the collection said many of them had carried notes from people wishing them well and hoping that they find the items useful and helpful for recovery.

When I hear this my faith in human nature has been restored. We are at our best as a race, when we are helping one another.

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef, to help chilre n vulnerable situations world-wide. Please help by donating to the campaign here.

Thanks for reading.