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Blogging gets results in the East Midlands

Save the Children’s new blogging campaign gets results in the East Midlands!

On Wednesday our shop had three new student volunteers turn up and ‘T’ was absolutely certain that it was as a result of our Nottingham shop getting itself into the blogosphere.

Much as I’d love to believe this I’m slightly more sceptical and feel it may be more down to what it as a commonly observed phenomenon during the spring of student-hood’s final year, the realisation that “I better get some work experience before I graduate else I’ll have spent three years to get a job in a fast food chain”.

No matter the reason though, any time they spend volunteering will bring them closer to the charity and as far as my limited experience goes the longer you spend interacting with a cause, the more you begin to live it, appreciate its worth and realise it’s not just money going from one pair of hands to another.

One of my first experiences of charity was being made to pay a pound to come to school in my own clothes, although of course by ‘being made to’ I actually mean ‘getting my parents to’.

Given that my school uniform consisted of purple and white strips I should have really convinced my parents to give a bit more and regularly.

It was always sunny and chaotic on the day itself.

The dress code was as follows, girls; Miss Selfridges and Accessorise (four years working in a charity shop and I can already name two shops that sell female clothing and accessories!) boys; football shirts, (it being a school in Cambridgeshire naturally around 95% were Liverpool or Manchester United). The kids who had forgotten desperately tried to look like they had remembered by taking off their ties and turning them into bandanas.

Then the next day we went back to the clothing line of the insane academic fashion guru who had one day looked at our school and decided that it was a good idea to create clothes stolen from the paint pallet of Ribena.

I cannot now even remember the names of the charities we gave to. They were just a name, the other side in a financial transaction to ensure for twenty four hours I didn’t have to look like an extra from a Harry Potter movie.

And surely James, (I hear you shout) financial transactions are a pretty common event in a charity shop and the average customer knows no more about Save the Children than I did about those charities at school.

Perhaps they don’t, but that I feel is rather to miss the point.

As with the pound we used to hand over at school the cash does not matter. It is but a tool through which we make our commitment clear to, in the case of Save the Children, the most valuable cause I believe there is.

It matters not a jot whether that pound role was to allow me some time in the early nineties to wear my beloved red and out myself as the only Nottingham Forest in the school or if it was used by the man who outted himself in a completely different way this weekend by buying Madonna’s greatest hits.

What matters is that it will go somewhere where it can make a difference (the money that is not the Madonna CD, the last thing we want to force on children facing economic, social and political injustice is three hours of diva pop)

It’s these new volunteer privilege as it is mine to play a small part in helping that money get to where it’s needed.

And we don’t even have to wear purple strips!

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