Archive for May, 2010

So, where to next?

So far, I haven’t really put my blog too far out into the websphere. I have sent it to a few friends and they have given me some feedback to improve the blog so I have changed a few style points, etc..

I know that the next step is the biggie and that is to start publicising by more than using Twitter. I do find Twitter such fun as I can be sarcastic and more than a bit mischievous. I have laughed out loud so many times using Twitter as there are many smart and funny people who can use 140 characters to be very, very witty. I envy their talent but they are worth this little pain.

On the flip side, I feel that I have to be slightly more serious using the blog but I hope without appearing too boring or sombre. I suppose time will tell on that front. My next step, therefore, is to use a few ways to get the blog out to more people. If I want people to donate to charity and write to me I need to! There isn’t much point in me talking and writing to myself, is there? I do have a couple of things in the pipeline to promote awareness of this blog and will be actioning over the next few weeks. I also have, as I mentioned in a previous blog, a pretty large donation to write about soon, just getting all the ducks in a row for that one….

And so on to the normal message and the simple steps to follow:-

  • Donate to a children’s charity. Pick one you like, you may be involved in the charity yourself, been assisted by them or admire them. Your reasons are your own…
  • Please come to this blog and tell me about the donation, to whom, how much and the currency by commenting anywhere on the blog. I would also be grateful if you wanted to tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8
  • If you want to, tell others about this blog and ask them to visit.

I will:-

  • Read and publish all (appropriate) comments.
  • Keep a running total of the amounts to each charity
  • I will also add a link to the charity’s website so that any other visitors can see the good work they do.
  • I will also write about the charities as the donations are made to hopefully assist a little with the publicity.

Thank you for reading and take care of you and yours.


May 29, 2010 at 5:53 pm 6 comments

Giving is a Pleasure

I thought I would blog today on the subject of giving. As a female, I am very in touch with my inner bloke. The inner bloke loves sport and hates shopping, very possibly a result of having 6 brothers and only 2 sisters (who came in as the last 2 in the 9). I therefore spent quite a few of my childhood years in goal when the boys were short of a player. I can confirm that I am not a very good goalie but at least I tried.

However, there is one time when the girlie in me does surface and that is shopping for other people. I actively enjoy shopping for presents for other people, matching gifts to people. I am not always successful but sometimes, especially when you aren’t really looking, you can find something very special.

My most recent and one of my best ‘accidental’ finds was in a recent weekend in London. I was visiting my eldest son and we were in a beautiful second-hand bookshop in Balham (incidentally old books smell gorgeous). I chanced upon a first edition of East of Eden by John Steinbeck and bought it for my mum, a huge Steinbeck fan. It isn’t quite as pristine as the picture below but it is still very lovely. Also, this wasn’t really an expensive gift but the giving of it was a huge rush for me……

The message of this tale is that I gained as much pleasure in giving this present as I think my mum had in receiving. So, to me, the old proverb, it is better to give than receive, is true.

Now, I don’t think that I am any kinder than anyone else out there. I think that most of us gain a lot of pleasure from giving and that we do it in small and big ways all the time. This applies to friends and to charities; most people see collection boxes and cannot pass them or donate regularly via work and/or personal means. Most of us work with the motto ‘treat others as you would wish to be treated’ as a core part of our being and this influences the way we think and act towards others.

All of the above is the foundation for me to write this blog. I, like most of us, think of myself as being quite kind. So, I felt that I had to act rather than just credit myself with the virtue. I decided that it wasn’t appropriate for me to credit myself without doing something. This is personal to me, I don’t want to sound holier than thou or pompous although please let me know if I am being either or both!

So, back on the blog message. I think most of you give to charities more often than you realise and I would like you to tell me about it. If you have read this blog before then you will know that I am keen to hear about children’s charities as I think children are those we need to protect most. All I want you to do after your donation is to come back and comment on this blog. I want to hear about which charity you gave to, the amount (however large or small as every penny helps!) and what you wanted to be when you were 8.

The last request is important as I am nosy and want to know about your childhood dreams; I am also interested to know if your dreams came true or how they changed into your adult ambitions. I also think that by commenting on this blog and encouraging others to read this blog and repeat the process, that we will publicize the charities themselves. All charities rely on people to show interest, to volunteer and for their funding. This is why I am happy to write about each charity I hear about from you as I think that any publicity for these organisations will hopefully be useful.

So, please read this blog, donate to the charity you choose, come back and tell me about the donation and what you wanted to be at 8. Then please tell others about this blog.

Happy reading and come back soon.


May 26, 2010 at 8:54 pm Leave a comment

Petit Blogette


My shortest post ever asking you to check out my Good Goes post from yesterday,

I want to reinforce the message as I believe it is worth reinforcing!


May 24, 2010 at 9:32 pm Leave a comment

Good Goes!

Hi everyone,

For anyone familiar with my blog you will already know that my aim is to make you think about which children’s charity you would like to support and then to act by donating to that charity. I am hoping that you will then write to me and tell me the charity, amount and what you wanted to be when you were 8.

When I started this project I consciously decided that I wouldn’t dictate to anyone which charity they should select; it should be one that you admire or are linked to. However, I am also very happy to write about charities if requested and I was recently approached by Good Goes via Twitter to write about the Good Goes project. I am thrilled to do so….

Good Goes is a join initiative by Save the Children and the Ad Council. The Good Goes project focuses on the sensible solution – get the good where it needs to go by enabling frontline care workers in places where children are at risk from preventable and cureable diseases. It is scary that almost two thirds of under-5 mortalities could be prevented by simple and low-cost treatments. The block to this is making sure that the treatments and the professionals to administer them are available in deprived and remote areas.

Local Health Workers – It may sound obvious but local health workers are key in fighting child mortality rates. Save the Children train local volunteers in identifying and treating life-threatening illnesses in their community. These volunteers make such a difference and their words are so much better than I could ever do so I have included some extracts from the Good Goes website to let you read for yourself –

This is Felix Aguilar Ramirez from Xachmochan Village in Guatemala, who has been a local health worker since 2007.  Please read some of Felix’s words:

“I farm to support my family, but I serve as a health worker because of my interests in medicine and in promoting the health of the children in my community. From the training provided by Save the Children, I have learned how to identify and treat severe illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia – two of the most common killers of children under age 5.

In my experience as a community health worker I’ve encountered a lot of obstacles. The first and most difficult is time: finding ways to visit with patients, collect thorough patient histories, diagnose illnesses, prescribe treatments, and perform follow-up visits – it all takes an extraordinary amount of time. But as a father with three children of my own, it is time that I consider to be not only necessary, but also vital towards keeping the children of my village safe and healthy.”

One of the children that Felix was able to help was Claro.

Signs of fatigue, a high fever, cough, and difficulty breathing led Felix to treat Claro for pneumonia. Did you know that they call pneumonia the ‘forgotten killer’ and it is the leading cause of death for children under 5 in developing countries? I cannot say whether I am more flabbergasted or appalled by that fact.  So, please look at Claro and understand that because of Felix and antibiotic treatment costing $8 Claro survived…..

Child Survival Solutions – a major part of the programme is to train the local healthcare volunteers like Felix but added to this is a suite of simple and sensible care packages like:-

  • Antibiotics
  • Malaria Medicine and Nets
  • Newborn care packages
  • Diarrhea Medicine
  • Vaccinations

My particular favourite is the newborn care package including Kangaroo Care, where mothers are taught to hold their babies next to their skin. This technique helps maintain body temperature and facilitates feeding on demand so that underweight babies can have a better chance of surviving.

We should also always remember how easily diarrhea can take hold in young children in developing countries. Have a look at Diaikaridia and his lovely smile. He is 9 months old and a simple treatment of zinc and oral rehydration solution helped cure his debilitating bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. Diaikaridia is from Malawi and was treated by Salif who has been a local health worker since 2002.

I really don’t think $8 is too much for the life of this child – do you?

I do hope that this small post gives you something to consider and then spurs you on to action. Please don’t forget to write to me when you do act and thank you for reading.

Take care,


May 23, 2010 at 10:27 pm Leave a comment

Speedy Morning Post

Morning All,

I am just getting ready for work but wanted to let everyone know that the running total is now over £420! Drmstream has updated me on the donation to Kids in Crisis based in Greenwich and his donation was over $500. To use a word from my US friends – awesome:-)

I will post properly over the weekend but wanted to let you all  know the exciting news and send my thanks to Drmstream.

Take care,


PS – please read further down this blog for the usual instructions……

May 21, 2010 at 7:34 am Leave a comment

Blogging for Donations?

Evening All,

I am having a guilt-free evening of posting with a side of Twitter as hubby is away on a boy’s trip to the Heineken Cup (European Rugby) final.

So, I am seeing some interest in the blog which is exciting. Those who have read the blog before will know that I am quite reticent about publicising, a bit daft really considering what I hope to achieve with the blog. I am dipping my toe out there and am very chuffed with the results so far.

As promised, I am adding in a picture of my daughter and youngest child, Megan. Megan is at school studying AS levels and doesn’t really want me to write about her so that is all you get for now:)

Megs - that's all!

So, back to the message:-

  • Please read this blog
  • Donate to a children’s charity of your choice
  • Come back to this blog and tell me the charity and amount you donated by adding a comment anywhere on the blog. I would also love to know what you wanted to be when you were 8
  • Please tell others about the blog if you like the idea.

What I promise to do:-

  • I will read and approve all suitable comments with a comment of my own
  • I will keep running totals and add notes/links to the charities you have chosen
  • I will keep posting on this message as I think it is worth some of my time to hopefully spur you all to pick and donate to a charity

Huge thanks to all who have viewed the blog; Whopping great thanks to those who have donated and written to me.

Take care and be kind,


May 20, 2010 at 8:51 pm Leave a comment

Please Watch for this Week’s Update…..


I received some exciting news this weekend as I took a very long overland journey from London back to Belfast after our flight was cancelled. I have been told that there will be a new comment to the blog on a very large donation. Sooooo, even though I could have complained about having a very long day of travel I was so pleased about the news that I smiled all the way home.

I will be meeting up with the person responsible for this wonderful news during the week and will make sure to update everyone as soon as I can.

On the journey – I was in London at the weekend seeing Ryan, Jacqueline and met Jacq’s parents for the first time, lovely people and we had a great time. Of course, while we were having dinner I received a text from younger son Rory about the ash cloud drifting over Ireland. This meant that on Sunday, instead of a gentle meander to the airport and a short flight home to Belfast we caught a train to Carlisle (really nice, the little I saw of it – will have to visit such a beautiful walled city), another train to Glasgow (always lovely!), taxi to Troon and then a ferry from Troon to Larne where my dad and brother picked us up around midnight. A very long day but the truth is that everone taking a similar trek home was smiling and cheerful. Why not? We were all able to manage the travel, we had food and seats available so why not make the best of it. I also had a really good book leant to me by my mum – ‘The Next Step in the Dance’ by Tim Gautreaux. Highly recommend this one, a lovely tale set in Louisiana.

This brings me nicely to the point of this blog. Even though I had a long day, I was comfortable and able to see that I would make it home, so I had nothing to grumble about. However, so many children in this world do not have the security of knowing that they know how their day will turn out, if they will have food, shelter, health education on this day or the ones to come.

Knowing that, shouldn’t we try to make sure that we can help just a little bit? Donating is the easy part, I donated my spare change, about £2, to a charity called IBA, as I entered the tube at Balham with Ryan. I have looked up the IBA and they are a charity who runs group activities for children and young adults from 5 – 18 who have disabilities. They are supported by London Underground and South-West trains hence the collections at the weekend.

The harder part is, I know, coming back to me and writing about your donations. I do really want to know which charities you like to support and what you wanted to be when you were 8. So, the normal blognag is:-

  • Please read this blog
  • Donate to a children’s charity of your choice and comment on my blog to let me know who and how much. As more people read the blog they will be able to see charities that they may not know about and would be interested in
  • Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8 and perhaps what you are now and the route that you have taken. I am interested to hear about people and would love to see your story and let others share this with you.
  • Please share this blog with others!

I will be back soon with the big news so please keep checking out the blog.

Take care,


May 17, 2010 at 11:18 am Leave a comment

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