Today, I helped a stranger access cancer support for her son who is struggling to find work after going through treatment for cancer. Many people struggle more after their cancer treatment has finished because of the many side effects, as well as the psychological, social and emotional effects going through cancer treatment brings.
It might just be one person (or hopefully two!), but it felt good because I could really help. She said to me at the end of our conversation, ‘You are really inspiring’ – well if only every day could be like that, I could really say I had achieved something!
When I started working in the charity world 6 years ago, I thought it would be nothing but positive things awaiting for me. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been and isn’t the case. I want to work for a charity because I want to try and make a difference, to try and do something good each day – and yes I know that is slightly cheesy. But even trying to raise money for people affected by cancer and their families, we are criticised by many. Criticised that we are asking for money, criticised that we ask too often, for too much and worst of all that we get paid to do all of the above! We have to battle against around 160,000 other charities in the UK alone for people’s hard earned money and we have to battle the criticisms as well.
What the people criticising forget (and I mean criticising, not simply asking questions about where their money is going) is the reason charities exist in the first place – because people need them. We are trying to help those in need, not to help ourselves.
The purpose of the post wasn’t to start arguing the case of charities, only that I felt proud today that I could help someone through what I do. I am living Macmillan’s values in my day job but also in my life, because I believe in their values and they mirror my own – I am personal, open and I demand better for people. I am learning daily and yearly to be an expert at what I do (personally and in work) however long that might take! And I am trying to inspire others to be and do these things too. I can brush off criticism because I believe in what I’m doing day to day and I know the value.
So I encourage other fundraisers to keep doing the good things you are doing and I also encourage everyone else too – if you believe in what you are doing, keep doing it!
Today was a good day… but tomorrow is going to be better.