12 Donations of Christmas

I am a big believer in paying it forward, if I can help someone through contacts, advice or mentoring I always will. In my experience to date, it almost always delivers a payback whether that is through recommendations and referrals or just through the great feeling of helping someone out.

Recently I helped out a fellow consultant and he told me that I had “ loads of good Karma coming my way”. It was such an amazing expression of thanks and it made me think about what more I could do to help those that needed it, particularly over the Christmas period.

That’s why I decided to make donations to 12 different charities over the next 12 days running up to Christmas and I would encourage all of my friends and clients to think about whether there are ways they can make small changes to benefit those that are less fortunate than them. Each of the charities has some sort of personal connection to me and I have tried to explain this below.  I had to set a budget but as I was working through this I was amazed how much difference a small donation can make.

  1. Crisis Christmas Centre – Christmas calls into sharp focus how fortunate I am to have my family around me, food and shelter. The Crisis Christmas Centres initiative gives those that are not so fortunate a place to go at Christmas and sets them up with education and support to break out of homelessness. That feels like an amazing way to spend £28.87.
  2. Blue CrossIn our family we have three beautiful dogs and two cats. I know first-hand the amazing benefits that having pets delivers. The Blue Cross helps pet owners who have fallen on hard times to continue to care for their pets, and when pets have no owners they care for and re-home them. This year we have opted to sponsor a dog who needs to be re-homed, paying for his upkeep until a permanent home can be found. We have chosen to sponsor a 20 month sable German Shepherd called Taz.
  3. Microloan Foundation – Entrepreneurship is an important skill that can allow anyone to support themselves. Many of my clients are entrepreneurs so we have paid £25 into the microloan foundation that helps women set up their own businesses in developing countries.
  4. Dementia UKI have friends and family who have been impacted by Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s has a huge impact on both the patients and their families. My £27 donation will fund an hour of a nurses time supporting a family dealing with dementia.
  5. HCUK – Oesophageal Cancer is the seventh most common cancer in the UK. My Dad was diagnosed with it and thankfully was successfully treated. Early diagnosis is crucial so my £25 donation will help HCUK towards their £150k target to raise awareness and ensure more people receive positive outcomes.
  6. Salvation Army – they are as much part of Christmas as stockings and trees but they do so much more than play carols. £19 donated to the Salvation Army gets a Christmas gift box with food and simple gifts for a struggling family.
  7. RAF Benevolent Fund Christmas Gift drop – I have immense respect for anyone that decides to serve their country and earlier this year I did the Rifle Run to support the ABF. But anyone that has worked with me will have seen my screensaver of me sat in a Spitfire, so this Christmas I am donating £29 that will fund a call to a lonely veteran.
  8. Daisy’s Dream – I will be enjoying my Christmas break surrounded by my loved ones but if you have lost someone recently Christmas can be a difficult time, particularly for children. My £25 donation will fund a support call for a family dealing with bereavement.
  9. Barnardo’s  – One of my closest friends was adopted via Barnado’s and they continue to support young people having a difficult time. My £25 donation will provide a young person with bedding and a safe place to sleep.
  10. Trussell Trust – Over 4million people had to use a foodbank in 2018 and over 14million people of which 4.5million are children are living in poverty. My £25 donation will allow a struggling family to get balanced and nutritious food when they need it.
  11. Scotty’s Little Soldiers – I really wanted to help some of the smaller charities and this one was highlighted to me by my friend (and past client) Jordan Wylie. Scotty’s Little Soldiers support bereaved military families both immediately and with longer term support. Definitely a great beneficiary of my £25 donation.
  12. And finally on the 12th day of Christmas I have decided that I can give more than just money. I have pledged to average 2 days a month supporting Frontline Children, a small charity supporting children in conflict zones to get access to education. The project for 2019 is to build a school for displaced children in Djibouti. I will of course make an initial donation of £25 but my hope is that through the skills I have, my contacts and relationships and the sheer bloody mindedness that has allowed me to build my business over the last 5 years I can give something back and really make a difference to children who need our help and support.

 

So with my Karma account hopefully fully charged and a plan to give so much more than just money I wish all of my clients, friends and family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

James Gray

Managing Director at Graystone Strategy
James has over 20 years of experience working in the telecoms and retail industries. He is an expert in subscription-based business models, CRM, direct and indirect channel management and major proposition development and launches. He has held a number of Marketing Director and Consumer Director roles.
James Gray

About James Gray

James has over 20 years of experience working in the telecoms and retail industries. He is an expert in subscription-based business models, CRM, direct and indirect channel management and major proposition development and launches. He has held a number of Marketing Director and Consumer Director roles.