Do you remember the 40 Hour Famine from your school years? It was a big part of my world, and looking back I think it may have been one of the first signs of my charitable tendencies! Do you also have memories of making yourself sick on barley sugars and guzzling water with your friends? As a Fundraiser in my day job, I was blown away to read some of the facts and achievements of this extraordinary campaign.
The generation we are currently raising will be running the world soon, no pressure! It may seem like you have no time, no knowledge or no experience to allow you to talk about charity. It is not that hard, and it will change your life in more ways than you can imagine. It is your responsibility as a parent, a teacher, a carer and as a human being with the simple power and privilege to help those most in need.
The world is already overwhelmed with acts of terror, abuse, disease and poverty. It is unacceptable that so many young people take their own lives, and that things like unsafe water are still killing so many children. Every act of kindness makes the world a better place, every dollar donated to charity and every minute of your time volunteered helps. It is a simple yet hugely powerful thing to become an influence for good.
It is really cold here in Sydney as I type, tonight it is likely to be around 7 degrees. Yes there are colder places in the world, but this is not about you or I. I am going to assume that most of you reading my blog will sleep in a warm bed tonight. Sadly there are more than 47,000 young Australians under the age of 25 who are homeless. Many of them will be trying to keep warm on the streets as you tuck your children into bed and rug up.
It doesn’t matter how many times I type those words, my heart hurts to think about these young people. Can you imagine if your own child was trying to stay warm (and safe!) on the streets tonight? It is a little too much to even contemplate isn’t it? Please don’t flick away though, this is not all doom and gloom.