I’m really into giving right now. Which makes me sound like the very worst kind of monster do-gooder there could be. Worry not – I’m still a terrible wreck of a human, just chucking some fivers around.
As I get happier, I want to help other people be happy too.
About two years ago I set up monthly donations to Cancer Research and Great Ormond Street Hospital. I don’t even notice the money coming out but you bet they notice the money going in.
We all got super upset over various recent losses to cancer. Even if you’ve never experienced it within your family, seeing greats like David Bowie, Lemmy and Alan Rickman taken from us way too soon has to hit home. If people that rich and that precious and that alive can die, there’s still a fuck-load of work to do.
Then there’s the kids. Great Ormond Street deals with the sickest of the sick, the babies who can barely even smile because of how ill they are. The research they do is critical to keeping children well and, as my mother would say, it could be yours that needs it one day.
At Christmas I tried to balance the uneasy feeling the indulgent period gives me by reserving a homeless person a meal, a bed for the night, a health check, advice and a shower. At probably the shittiest time of year to be homeless, I hope I helped someone feel a bit safer and a bit more hopeful. You can donate all year round, never fear.
Recently I’ve given money to a GoFundMe for a transgender woman called Stef, who also happens to have Waardenburg Syndrome. She’s an incredibly positive spokesperson for young trans people and is educating so many people through her YouTube channel. The GoFundMe is for her gender realignment surgery and, while there are many trans people I’m not helping to achieve the body they need, I think she really deserved a thank you for her contribution to the growing acceptance of the issue.
Today I donated to Greg James (of BBC Radio One), who’s doing the most insane 5-day Olympic triathalon thing to raise money for Syrian refugees living in Jordanian camps as well as for charities in the UK. He raised something like £37,000 in the first day, which just goes to show how much awareness he’s bringing to the plight of these people who have lost everything. His donation page is here.
These are pretty personal choices. I watch Stef’s YouTube channel, I lost a much loved relative to cancer, and I listen to Greg James every day. I’m not dictating what you should care about. But how about finding a few things that make you feel sad or get you thinking?
Spread the wealth, people.