The Importance of Giving

It is somewhat of an understatement to say that we live in challenging times.  This is probably the first time since the Second World War that so many of us fear that our children will be worse off than we are.  Austerity is the buzz word of the day. 

There is a way of measuring social mobility or the ease with which a son can do ‘better’ than his father.  It may surprise many that Scandinavia, much of mainland Europe (excluding Italy) and Canada score better than the US and the UK.  In other words, in the US or the UK, it is relatively harder for sons to do better than their fathers.  But in mainland Europe (excluding Italy) or Canada it is relatively easier.  In the United States and here in the United Kingdom, the situation is quite similar.  In both of our countries, the share of wealth concentrated in the hands of the very wealthy is increasing. 

Recently, a report by Oxfam and Church Action on Poverty explained that half a million people now use food banks, and that the UK is now facing "destitution, hardship and hunger on a large scale".  "Food aid" is now something firmly built into our national life, especially since the government safety net of social security is being scaled back.

According to the Trussell Trust, the UK's single biggest organiser of food banks, in 2011-12, the number of people who received at least three days' emergency food was around 130 000.  Earlier this year, an article in the Guardian went on to say that in 2012-13, "food banks fed 346 992 people nationwide", and of those who received help, "126 889 were children". 

Food banks are not soup kitchens.  An article in the Spectator explains that they are not a sign of a society gone bad.  In fact, their emergence ought to be seen as a sign of how strong Britain’s social fabric is.  Perhaps it is unfortunate that food banks have not been around for longer.  The Spectator article goes on to say that food banks exist as a sticking plaster, usually to help families who have been allocated welfare but are waiting for the bureaucracy to process the payments. They are an emergency support in towns and cities. Without them, families would go hungry for days. 1040 form Singapore

I have to agree that one of strengths of the British social fabric is the culture of giving.  Think about it.  Anytime a ‘so called’ celebrity is trying to fix their public image, one of the top things on their to-do list is doing something for a charity.  Some surveys say that as many as 75% of us give something to charity every year.  Charities exist to create a better society.  Every year, they raise billions of pounds, employ as many as 1 million paid staff and positively impact our daily lives in more ways than we can imagine.

One charity that we are particularly proud of supporting is Christian Aid.  For the last 60 years or so, Christian Aid has been an organisation that acts as a force for changing the world into one where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty.   They provide urgent, practical and effective assistance where need is great, tackling the effects of poverty as well as its root causes.

At the end of the day, it does not matter which registered charity you choose to give to.  All that matters is that you do give.  Every penny makes a difference to so many lives and it is of course, a blessing to the giver as well.

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