Ed Said - What day is this?
God loves a cheerful giver, so says the book of Corinthians. He must be smiling over Mangawhai because without our hundreds of cheerful volunteers the community would not be as bountiful as it is today. Giving willingly of time is one thing but we are also expected – yes, I believe that’s an appropriate word – to put our hands in our pockets for an increasing number of “good causes” which now rear their heads on a weekly basis.
To those concerned, every cause is a worthy one but there is still only so much money to go round and while there is always someone with a greater need than yourself, the old adage of ‘charity begins at home’ still rings true. Raffles have always been a relatively ‘safe’ and bountiful fundraiser but now we are rapidly moving towards a cashless society with plastic cards that suit any and every transaction so the need to carry cash has lessened considerably .
Once upon a time using a card regularly incurred hefty charges but now transactions barely make a bump on our monthly statements as banks find other ways of making their margin while convincing us they are doing us ‘favours.’ A little like re-arranging the chairs on the Titanic.
Many choose to make regular donations to ‘Save the children’, sponsor a child from an impoverished village in India believing we are helping them have a better existence and that’s the important thing, the belief or the faith we have. That’s what makes a cheerful giver.
However, I have noticed lately there is almost a ‘day’ of some kind, every week when we are asked to champion a cause; Yellow ribbon day, pink sox day, pink shirt day, rainbow something –or-other, gumboot day for awareness of those suffering from depression. The All Black coach told us on TV they wanted to raise $2 million. I believe the campaign raised $1million in one day.
Though we are told there are 285,000 children living in poverty in New Zealand, Kiwis donated over $15 million to the families of the Christchurch mosque shootings raised $15 million – unbelieveable, but sadly now there is argument about how this money should be distributed and by whom. It just shows money, even for the most worthy cause, can become a problem.
The recent Sky Tower challenge by our firemen raised over $3m for Leukaemia and blood cancer. $4,000 of it from Mangawhai.
Last Thursday was World Turtle Day – ummmmmm, OK. That was also World Chardonnay Day - I know which one would be the better observed. We have National volunteer week, then the annual 40 hour famine which encourages school pupil awareness of those living with less, so ironically they spend 40 hours eating sugar-laden sweets and drinking juice or water- as far from fasting as one could possibly get - with not the slightest notion of what ‘famine’ or fasting might entail.
May was Pink ribbon breakfast month for breast cancer research. In the past month or so we have had appeals for a dozen different disabilities – dementia, alzheimers, motor neurone disease, heart diseases, prostate cancer and so on. Last week was “Youth Week.” What we were meant to do about that I’m not really sure. Last Tuesday was Hats for Headway Day for the brain injured. Whangarei had a pink shirt day last week to highlight anti-bullying and it was also Asthma week.
Northland school pupils had a “School Strike 4 Climate”. What does that actually mean?
Caritas group answering a call from the Pope labelled 5 June World Environment Day, and World Oceans Day 8 June. Should we be sitting quietly in a dimly lit room observing the text from the book of Thessalonians to ‘be ever watchful and pray without ceasing?’ Just what are we supposed to do on these days? On a lighter note there is also an officially recognised ‘World Naked Gardening Day’ held on 2nd May. I think the nearest any Mangawhai gardeners got to celebrating this was tending their own Belladonna Lillys which brings into question just how dedicated they really are.
Just my thoughts.