I now donate a percentage of all my paid invoices to CARE, a fantastic organisation that helps women and children in third world countries. I've also recently donated photography to Bali Kids and The Leukaemia Foundation. I think it's important that we give back, to those who are far less fortunate than us. Sometimes I wonder, how it has become, that we can drive around in our new shiny cars, build dream homes, and buy all the new mod cons while there are others in our world that are struggling to survive through lack of basic necessities like food, water and shelter. We have the option of sending our children to private schools, where some families don't even have the option of sending their children to A school. Instead, children have to stay home and earn money for the family. And what about the children that are sick, and have no access to medical supplies or doctors to help them. I recently read an article on photographer, who worked on a project that helped raise awareness of the poverty on the land in the USA, and one of her photographs struck me to tears. It was an image of two children, walking down a dirt road hand in hand, their hut in the background, the little child's legs bowed by disease. Having a daughter myself, I could not imagine not being able to afford treatment or help, to improve her life. I could not ever imagine having lost her to illness, or at childbirth, as happens many times in the developing world.
We all need to step back and see what's important, and feel what's important for us. If we could all donate a little extra to help these people (and forgoe the updated car/entertainment system/lavish holiday), it would be of so much benefit to the people that really need it. Time or money can help. 'Voluntourism' is on the rise, where people volunteer their time to help in a community for anwhere from a week upwards. We can donate to a number of charities (and some great ones I've donated to include CARE and Bali Kids) and we can also buy 'gifts' to give to people, where your money goes to real aid in someone else's life. No more duplicate toasters, socks and jocks, and other unwanted items that inevitably end up lost in landfill or in the dark of the back of the cupboard.