Last year as one of my New Year’s pledges I decided to ask my family and friends to give a donation to HADA -the organisation which fund-raises for the fistula and prolapse repair work that Professor Judith Goh and Dr Hannah Krause do in Africa – instead of giving me a present for my birthday and Mother’s day. I’ve written many blogs about the incredible life-changing surgery Judith and Hannah (and Neroli, Miriam and Barb) perform for the women, who suffer shocking birth injuries, which leaves them with constant urinary and faecal incontinence. This incontinence often leads to ostracising of the woman from their family and even their community.
But early into the year it also occurred to me that I too could also give a donation to HADA in lieu of a present, to all the people I usually give presents to in a year – family, friends, staff – and most importantly all of them went along with it and thought it was a great idea! So for Mother’s Day and my birthday everyone complied and gave a donation to HADA and in the twelve months from January to December, I donated $844 (which is tax-deductible also!).
It wasn’t hard at all. In fact it was very satisfying. Can I suggest that if everyone thought about a $10 donation to their favourite charity and reduce the cost of the present you are buying for friends and relatives by $10 it would be a win for the charity such as HADA and a win for the ‘feel good factor’.
Just a thought for 2017.
An update for 2021. Again this year I am repeating this concept of giving a donation instead of presents to family and firends and asking my family and friends to give a donation instead of giving me a present. Just assess – do you really need any more things? Or could the gift of giving be an enriching experience?