No presents, we have all we need

£330 of £1,000 goal

Raised by 20 people in 29 months
When we issued our first informal invitations to a party to help us celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and combined 135th birthday which occur this year we found ourselves saying,
“No presents, we have all we need”.
Then someone asked if they could give us money to donate to a good cause. That idea took root. Yes, we have everything we need but we don’t have a massive surplus to give away, but how great would it be to generate that?

That’s our maxim. All money we raise from our “No presents, we have all we need” campaign will be given away.

Given away where? We haven’t yet decided, except that some money will go to Birmingham St Mary’s hospice . We might support other small charities, we might donate to local sports teams, youth groups... We might donate to any good cause that takes our fancy during the year.

These are our rules:
1. We will give away all the money we raise.
2. We will give to what we decide to be good causes and will avoid things we judge could be controversial or overtly political.
3. If we raise under £100 in total, then the money will be split between Birmingham St Mary’s hospice and something small and local to Yorkshire that involves young people and sports.
4. We’ll happily take suggestions but final decisions will be ours.

Oh and we will get the date of that party fixed soon. It’s going to be an informal, disorganised drop-in but hopefully with plenty of food, drink and good weather. Invitations will land soon.

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Now that the party's over and summer is thinking about packing it in for the year we thought of closing this campaign, thanking all donors once again for their generosity and deciding what to do with the £100 still not given away.

But then the sun popped out again, a friend sent another donation and we decided to let it run on quietly perhaps to the end of the year as was our original plan.

We've been quite busy helping to promote FantastiCon 2016 and it occurred to us that we are going to meet many good friends there - old and new - and there will be any number of good causes on show (who amongst those who witnessed it will ever forget the Great Dave Shave at FantastiCon 2015?)

So maybe we will hold back one donation until the end of November. That still leaves a spare slot for us to think about.

To recap: we have donated to St Mary's hospice in Birmingham in memory of a dear friend; to a local organisation that facilitates riding for young children; to Marie Curie in honour of the Great Dave Shave; and we've bought a sleeper and fixings for the Yorkshire Wolds Heritage Railway, the certificate for which would have been attached here if my printer was working. As it isn't, we've gone equestrian with the visuals.
A horse in the house
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The Party
Despite predictions of rubble, upside down furniture and thunderstorms, the party happened. Lots of people came along, food was eaten, fizzy drinks were imbibed, fun was had - and tales were being told around the garden table late into the night. The redecorated room (see previous updates) had all its furniture back in place - and what more can you ask of a room?
Big thanks to all who came along and made it such an enjoyable and memorable occasion. The picture is of our favourite card, given to us by friends who were at the wedding 40 years ago. Thanks, Pat-n-Frank!
Our favourite anniversary card
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Is there a Pokemon Addicts Foundation?

I remember Pokemon as a school craze involving collecting cards, but now it has morphed into an activity where people are led into unlikely places by their phones (other people’s back gardens, the strong rooms of banks) and there have been casualties. People staring at their phones have dropped into holes or walked into the paths of cars whose drivers are also staring into their phones.

There is clearly a need for a Pokemon Addicts Foundation, not just for a wonderfully dismissive acronym. “Good gracious no, officer, it was my phone. Paf!”

But in the absence of a PAF, we have so far donated to the hospice (as per previous post), a local outfit that helps teach road safety and a local heritage project.

Massive thank yous to all who have donated and allowed us the huge pleasure of giving money away.
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Two milestones met.

Our good causes fund hit £100 so we’ll be making an immediate donation to the Birmingham hospice that looked after a good friend of ours and will donate a similar amount to the first of our local good causes when we’ve decided which it’s to be.

The other milestone is the unexpected decorating of the living room.

There have been lessons to learn here, such as don’t hang that last strip in failing light when your eyes aren’t as good as they once were, especially if this is twinned with memory not as good as it once was, because you’ll be an age remembering roughly where the light switch used to be in order to locate and uncover it.

Questions arise too, such as what is the significance of these strange artefacts? Why have we been nurturing that ancient balloon (long out of helium) in pride of place in the china cabinet? And is there a compelling reason for the presence of half a brick (nothing fancy, nothing old, nothing of any note or value) mid window sill?

There’s something about a redecorated room that makes Christmas tinsel prominent. Had there been no decorating that line of glitter above the bookcase would have stayed in place unnoticed until next Christmas.

Meanwhile, the heatwave continues.
Bright sunlight brings out the colours
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£330 of £1,000 goal

Raised by 20 people in 29 months
Created June 30, 2016
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