Back in January I gave up chocolate for the month and anyone who knows me will understand what a huge challenge that was.
To say I am a massive fan of chocolate is an understatement. But give it up I did and I didn’t mind one bit, because my abstaining from chocolate was for a reason. We’d decided as a company to choose a different charity each month in 2014 and do something to raise cash for them. Our donations have been modest and we are no rival to Live Aid but every little helps.
We’ve given up chocolate for Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity, raised cash for Rotherham Hospital’s baby unit, donated to Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust’s Sport Relief efforts, dug deep for Mayflower Animal Sanctuary, helped out Doncaster Deaf Trust with Venetian masks for the pupils, and indulged in a strawberry tea for Breast Cancer Care.
In July we donated our spare cash to Doncaster Cancer Detection Trust for the Mile of Coins appeal at Frenchgate Centre and in August our money will go to St John’s Hospice following a meeting with their fantastic fundraiser Mel Hewitt, who is so passionate about the place you leave her thinking frantically of ways you can help.
There are so many worthy causes in our region who need support.
There are many ways to help out and not all of them involve giving money - for some charities it is your time they need as they often rely heavily on volunteers.
I’m glad we set ourselves this challenge. It has meant we can learn more about a number of different organisations across South Yorkshire. We are really looking forward to helping out more charities for the rest of the year and finding new ways to make a difference.
At a recent Bishop’s breakfast Peter Burrows talked about the Food Banks in Doncaster and how more and more people are turning to them in desperation. If we all donated a tin or a box of food each time we did our shopping it would be a massive help to those in our communities who need it.
When you have a minute try to find out more about the charities in your local area that need your help be it cash, time or even food, and see if there is a way you, your family and friends or colleagues, can get involved.
But make sure you know what you are offering to do so there is no confusion. After months of my five-year-old getting teary-eyed at a TV advert to adopt a snow leopard to help protect them from extinction I finally caved in this morning and said as a birthday present we could sign up. He was elated and danced around saying how happy he was the leopard would be saved and how he was willing to put money from his money box towards it. It was only as he sat down and looked around the house that I realised he thought we were going to have a leopard move in with us! I quickly put him straight and explained that, much as it would be nice, our donation would help the leopards more.
* Charlotte Taylor, Managing director, OnTrack PR, Doncaster