Redefining the concept of charity

As you know I am someone who is adventuring along Hope’s pathway and asking a lot of questions along the way. One question that I am exploring is the concept of ‘charity’.

Charity implies philanthropy; giving something to someone as an act of kindness. And from charity has sprung the retail industry that is charity shops. However when unpicked, these are rather interesting. Because, although they support charities such as the RSPCA, Shelter etc finacially, I am not sure that many of the homeless clients that visit our food and clothing bank could afford a £10 coat from a charity shop, or even a £5 coat. The average maximum donation for the clothes we give away for free is £1, which is absolutley fine.

So many people like myself are able to buy lovely things in charity shops and many many people are not. So what is left? Not a lot really. So many people and I see this first hand, are walking around with shoes with holes in them and no coat.

Perhaps we need to look at this again. In these times of Covid, surely having sufficient clothing ie a Winter coat, is essential and decent footwear. Furthermore, having decent clothing for children is also esential.

I find it very interesting that the area where I live is an area of high social deprivation and yet the Covid figures are relatively low. I have begun to wonder about the reasons for this. One hypothesis is that as we have many food banks, maybe people are eating well enough to remain healthy and also as we are clothing people, maybe they are keeping warm. The food bankis do deliveries so that too is contributing to people being able to stay inside and keep warm.

Covid needs a holistic approach in my view; keeping shielded if needed, warm clothes and helathy nourishing food for adults and children. These are human rights. Covid is a virulent disease, but I feel there are ways to tackle it which involve wider issues than mere statistical information and local lockdowns.

Today’s recipe of hope is to consider what charity means to you and think a little out of the box in regard to supporting your local community X

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