My son and the chuggers

18 Nov

I have always had a dubious relationship with charities. Although happy to give to people raising money via Just Giving, conscientiously buying my Christmas cards from registered charities and donating clothes to charity shops when accosted by those good looking street teams wearing tabards, I mumble that I give to various charities and don’t want to be committed to one and I just get cross when I get cold called.

Suddenly I find myself on the receiving end of charity and my opinion has changed.

On the day my baby boy was diagnosed as being deaf I rang the number for the National Deaf Children’s Society to request a leaflet which had been offered on the hand out given to me by the hospital.  Expecting a drone in a call centre or a recorded message, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself chatting to a charming young woman, full of empathy and advice.  Having accepted the numerous leaflets she offered, I immediately assumed that her query regarding whether I wanted to become a member was a subtle way of asking for a monthly direct debit.  In fact she was not asking me for something, she was offering me something.

Since then I have joined the parents forum of the NDCS where complete strangers have shared their experiences and offered advice.  I have signed up for a weekend for recently diagnosed parents to meet other deaf children and their families where the charity covers the cost of our family of five staying at a hotel on the West Coast.  In addition I have received an endless stream of information booklets and DVDs, been invited to a family Christmas party and been given the number of a family liaison officer who will answer any questions and help fill in forms for any benefits we might be entitled to.  It’s a whole new world.

When I announced on Facebook that Angus was deaf numerous friends left much appreciated messages of support but one in particular made me stop and think.  It was from a colleague of my husband’s who wrote that she had been stopped by someone raising money for NDCS as she left the supermarket and having just heard our news had signed up for a monthly direct debit.  It was such a generous thing to do and I was ashamed that before I actually needed a charity I would have walked straight by mumbling that I give to various charities and don’t want to commit to one.

I still think that a regular contribution to one charity is a lot to ask of people but for those who do succumb to the cold callers and good looking tabard wearers, let me tell you the recipients – whatever the charity may be – genuinely appreciate it.

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2 Responses to “My son and the chuggers”

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  1. National Deaf Awareness Week? How did I not hear about that? « Sleepless in silence in suburbia - May 9, 2012

    […] the last four weeks I’ve seen our Teacher of the Deaf, our Speech Therapist, visited hospital to pick up temporary hearing aids (our 9 month old baby had chewed his other […]

  2. Charity begins at home | Sleepless in silence in suburbia - June 17, 2013

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