Wednesday, October 15, 2008

International Blog Action Day : Poverty

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to blunder across International Blog Action Day via Catherine Bray (Many thanks Catherine). From there I quickly embarked on an article for the HitSearch internet news feed publicising the day. During the course of that I got in touch with Stuart Fowkes, online press officer for Oxfam.

Catherine recently did a triathalon for Shelter...Stuart is currently promoting Oxfam's campaign highlighting the rising food prices around the world.

So what do I do? Hmm, tricky one. Regular readers will know that Things & Stuff isn't exactly the most noble of fact it's almost entirely throwaway (unless you are a fundamentally obsessed Everton or Waterloo fan). I do however think it's massively important to be involved in things like Blog Action Day...even if it's only to stand up and say you don't do enough. I'd like to think I am not a shallow person but do I do my bit? Well I do more than some but that's not really the point.

Thinking about it I am an active charity giver in terms of my cash but certainly not my time. I think that would be most valuable than anything. I give without fail to the appeals that go out, I always give to the church and make sure I've got a bit in reserve for those unexpected 2nd collections. Hardly earth shattering stuff. A week of voluntary work down in Lourdes is a step in the right direction but I think of that as a religious duty and a social thing as much as a charitable act.

I do have decidedly left-wing views...coming from Liverpool it's difficult not to. So where does this leave me in terms of poverty. Unfortunately the only conclusion is that I, like tones of others, fall into that wishy-wash void inhabited by people who do genuinely care and will give when necessary but are basically not involved....and from there you can see the need for things like Blog Action Day. A chance for the people who do care and are willing to help to discuss and get better informed. If nothing else it might direct a few un-allocated charity dollars to the right causes. I know my contribution ain't going to be anything earth shattering but I don't think we all have to do that...just sign up, say your piece and then, most importantly, take the time to read what others are talking about.

How tough can that be?

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