For several years now, Sally-Jayne and I have been making charity donations rather than buying and posting huge volumes of Christmas cards that will end up in the bin or recycling box by January.
This seems to be something that more and more people are choosing to do, and it is a trend that I welcome. Christmas greetings and good, sincere wishes can be passed on personally to those we see often (close family and friends) and these days using an electronic format works just as well as a printed card for those in more far-flung locations. The sentiment is the same, and this way we can do something to benefit people less fortunate at the same time.
This year, we have chosen to make our donation to Plan UK’s “Help Forgotten Children” programme (see http://www.plan-uk.org/what-you-can-do/project-donation/forgotten-children/). Plan UK is a charity we have been supporting for several years – through sponsorship of children in less developed countries, they fund education, health and social projects that benefit not only the children themselves but the whole communities they live in. We sponsor a young boy in Tanzania and a girl in Paraguay, receiving regular updates about projects in their communities, as well as letters and photos from the children and their families to let us know how they are getting on. Meanwhile, we send letters and photos about our lives in England, and encourage them in their education and development. We find it hugely rewarding to have this direct contact with people who are benefitting from our support and think that Plan UK do a fantastic job overall. “Help Forgotten Children” is a special project they are running to give hope to vulnerable children whose circumstances are not covered by the normal community-based projects. We hope all friends will agree that this is a hugely worthwhile initiative to support at Christmas, and that they will appreciate why we have once again made a charitable donation rather than spending on cards and postage.
We wish all our family, friends and acquaintances a wonderful festive season, hoping you get the chance to relax and enjoy precious time with those you care about the most.