Tag Archives: charity

Dear Santa – Trifecta

22 Dec
A little girl's letter to Santa, taken from a Finnish newspaper

A little girl’s letter to Santa, taken from a Finnish newspaper

 

This letter has been published in a Finnish newspaper to which it came from a nursery. The writer is a 6 year old girl. The letter reads:

Dear Santa,

I don’t maybe need Monster High (*a toy) as a present or I do want it but if mum and dad would not fight and drink beer at all that would be the best christmas, best.

Best wishes,

Neea 6 yrs.

It broke my heart. And inspired me to write a peace for this week’s Trifecta. I hope that be it this Christmas or next year, we can all give some time to a child near us, play with them, listen to them or just smile to them. They will answer that smile eagerly because children were born to love. Let’s not allow the world to suck that love out of them. Children are precious, wise and fragile.  Here’s my contribution to Trifecta:

This weekend we want you to give us a pithy summary of your feelings about the holidays.  Your response does not need to be cynical or sarcastic.  We welcome all thoughts and feelings about this time of year–so long as you express those thoughts and feelings in 33 words.

Dear Santa

When mum is sad she whispers. Mum always whispers at Christmas. She doesn’t eat Christmas dinner, maybe because she has so many tears to swallow. Mum can have my toys, I love her.

What could you do to help a child out?

Have yourself a fairly merry Christmas!

13 Dec

Here is what not to do this Christmas:

1. Piss your neighbours off with Christmas lights that are designed to give every passer-by an epileptic seizure:

 

 

2. Fall asleep while having some gingerbread biscuits in the oven. I woke up to the sound of fire alarm, run to the kitchen and saw that something was catching fire slightly. So I panicked, grabbed the baking tray, run out and threw it into a snow drift.

A photo I took after the tiny fire was out... I took the biscuits inside trying to save them. I couldn't be a baker but I made some convincing chalk there.

A photo I took after the tiny fire was out… I took the biscuits inside, needless to say they couldn’t be saved. Well, I wouldn’t make a baker but I made some convincing chalk there.

 

 

3. Tear your hair out as a result of Christmas present-stress. Giving presents should be fun.

One thing I don’t get is giving presents for the sake of giving presents. Stressing over how someone already has everything, then going out and buying them something, just anything, a mug, woolly socks, anything! Because we need to buy them a present, just need to.

But both the buyer and the receiver know that this thing, this present bought in panic, is most likely forgotten after the Holidays, gathering dust at the back of some cupboard. So why wouldn’t we give presents that are different this Christmas? Presents that mean something… that mean a lot actually. Presents that are not forgotten.

Why wouldn’t we give gifts of life? Why wouldn’t we share the excess we have with others who have nothing. Use our money to give someone else hope?

So far I have given some uncontaminated water and few meters of water pipe, life-saving inoculations and a goat. All of these go to families in need. I have also given some toys to a family near here.

And what I wish for this Chrismas? A little love. Let’s make this world a fairer, warmer place!

To check out some charity gift ideas, some gifts that mean a lot, there’s WWF or Worldvision.  There’s also The Operation Christmas Child in the UK. And countless other local charity projects wherever you’re at, so keep your eyes open and find the gifts of life.

And have yourself a fairly merry Christmas, darlings!

 

The ugly side of charity

13 Oct

When did charity become a selling point?

Buy this and we’ll give two cents out of our million profit to this charity organisation. Buy this product, go ahead, buy yourself some conscience!

I know I have done it, buying a four quid pink pen to support breast cancer charity. Only then to read the small print and figure out that they didn’t even give two percent of that four quid to the promised charity. And the saddest part, I really thought I was helping. Like many others who fall for it.

And the moneymaking machines, the corporations know this. They use it, not to help others, but boost their own profit.

Last month there was a campaign by a big sweets brand here in Finland, Fazer. The idea, the promise, was that when we eat chocolate, African children eat too. Buy this chocolate bar and you’ll help the kids in need. Oh, the charity, the good deed!

So very ironic then, that it is these kids who actually make the chocolate.

None of the products carries a fair trade stamp. The cocobeans are hauled over from Western Africa from plantations that live out of child labour. There is human trafficking too.

So, this is charity. This is what their charity stands for.

Charity has become the equivalent of a face lift for many companies. They photoshop few smiling faces of the poor into their ads, polish their image and then, purring with content, watch the profit flooding in.

It’s so easy. It is a neat little trap for the consumers, bound to attract. Because we want to help. And the best part is, the seller now knows that when we read the ingedients list, we don’t pay attentions for additives. We look at our beloved purchase and see that it’s made of charity. Might not be fat-free but it’s guilt-free!

But what if you didn’t buy that pink pen next time or that chocolate bar, and used the money to buy a sandwich for a homeless guy instead? Or gave him a little bit extra for that Big Issue?

Or what if you put away your wallet all together and gave few kind words to your lonely neighbour? Or carried the shopping of an old woman instead of rushing past her in the shop?

You would see the help. You would see their smile and know they’re smiling for you, to thank you. Not because their profit turnover just tipped over  two million.