As I imagine it does for many of you, this time of year always makes me think of giving to a charity. This is more than the usual bleeding heart Christmas-time sentimentality. When I was growing up, there was a short period one Christmas when our family fell on hard times. We were very much in need of the support of a charity – in our case the Salvation Army.Every year since, I’ve thought of some grand scheme to give a large sum of money or support to the Salvation Army – and then it’s too much or things get in the way. Somehow I get so caught up in the commercial “gift buying” craze that I forget to give to those that are helping others in much more need than me or my family and friendsI’m ashamed to say that in all the years since we benefited so much from the help of a charity – I’ve yet to contribute a cent to the salvation army.This morning I saw a banner on Wikipedia asking for donations. This morning, I decided to donate – not much, but more than a little. Wikipedia spreads knowledge and free speech throughout the world, it’s helped me with hundreds of assignments through school, dissertations through university, legal opinions in my lawyer days and proposals and business plans now that I find myself in the business world.Like you, I’ve seen the banners on the Wikipedia site around Christmas time. Probably like you, I’ve not donated anything before today.Wikipedia is a little unique in that almost everyone can say that they have had some benefit – other charities / organisations are less pervasive, but no less important. Some (many?) charities are responsible for changing people’s lives: they lift people up or help to carry them through when times are toughest.Wikipedia made me think. So, as soon as I finish writing this blog, I’m going to give a donation to the Salvation Army – it won’t be grand or massive, but it will be something – it will be a start.Have you or any people around you been helped or had their lives eased even a little by charity? Think about that this time of year – it brought it home to me.If you can, if you have enough - give a little. Don't put it off like I have for so many years. It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture – you don’t have to shout it from the rooftops, but I guess every little bit helps.Happy Christmas everyone.
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