Good People Doing Good Things — Choose Love (and others)

t-shirt-2Perhaps my favourite Christmas gift this year was from my daughter to Miss Goose and I together.  When we first opened it, we were a bit puzzled, for there was a white t-shirt with the words “Choose Love” on it in black lettering, and a piece of paper that appeared to be an invoice for:

Hot Food x2 $8.00
Sleeping Bag x1 $26.00
Waterproof Tent x1 $26.00
Snug Pack x1 $10.00
Arrival Bundle x1 $30.00
Total   $100.00

My first reaction was, “You bought us a tent?  You want us to move out?”  But as she explained, as I understood what my wonderful daughter had done, tears came.  She donated this money in mine and Natasha’s names, to be spent on the above items for a refugee in need.  My daughter has a heart of pure gold.

So this evening, as I pondered my ‘good people’ post, I thought to do a bit of research into ‘Choose Love’.  From their website …

Choose Love. It’s a simple, but powerful message.

At a time when the world faces many challenges; when rhetoric of hate and division has found itself centre stage; we believe sharing this simple message has never been more vital.

We all have a choice. To be motivated by fear and animosity, to build walls and turn our backs on the world. Or to nurture the hopeful; to recognise our common future. To chooselove. The world can feel broken, but everywhere these cracks are letting in light.

We’re under no illusions. We know we face some huge challenges. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned as charity, and as a community, it’s that we can all play a part in creating the world we want to see. And choosing love seems like a pretty good place to start.

Choose Love, the world’s first store where you can buy real gifts for refugees, contains practical items like tents, nappies and sleeping bags. But instead of taking them home, each purchase buys a similar item for someone who truly needs it.

In 2017, this new model of charitable giving raised nearly £1 million, it got the message out to over 200 million people, and it engaged celebrities, influencers and the public with a really positive message.

We believe funds should go straight to where they are needed most. So we make sure 100% of donations from the store go straight to supporting front line services.

Last year, the sale of life jackets from the Choose Love store raised £38,594, which enabled Refugee Rescue to assist 1,399 people braving the treacherous sea crossing from Turkey.

But Choose Love is only one part of the picture, for they are in partnership with another organization, Help Refugees, that goes even further.  Help Refugees is ranked one of the most efficient charities helping refugees with a myriad of things.  A bit about them …

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things

Help Refugees started as nothing more than a hashtag in August 2015. A group of friends wanted to raise $1,500 and fill a van full of donations to take down to Calais. Within a week, we had raised $86,000. We were soon receiving 7,000 items every day.

Fast forward three years, and we have helped over 722,500 people, managed over 25,000 volunteers, and we support more 80 projects across Europe and the Middle East. We have established a fieldwork first, networked approach to giving aid, establishing local networks and working with local partners to deliver projects.

Boosted by the support of high-profile musicians, filmmakers and actors who joined our ‘Choose Love’ campaign, we believe that together with our partners, volunteers, fundraisers, and supporters we have pioneered a new movement in humanitarian response – ordinary people to help other ordinary people in need in the most direct of ways.

We help where the need is greatest. Flexible and fast in our response to the genuine needs of refugees, we fill gaps and act where big NGOs and governments don’t.

94% of your donations go directly towards supporting refugees across Europe and the Middle East.

– We are among the most efficient refugee charities in Europe
– We’ve had thousands of volunteers
– We’re funded by people like you
– We don’t have any highly paid executives
– We provide vital aid to people fleeing war, persecution and poverty

Help refugees impact reportI checked out both Help Refugees and Choose Love, both are legitimate and rely almost exclusively on volunteers and donations.  So today, I honour many good people whose names I do not know, but whose accomplishments deserve kudos.  The 25,000+ volunteers, those who came up with the ideas for these two charities, and the thousands of people who have helped, either by giving donations or buying items for refugees.  And one more good person I would like to honour today … daughter Chris for having such a wonderful heart and for caring about people.

You can learn more about these two organizations from their websites, Choose Love and Help Refugees.

33 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things — Choose Love (and others)

  1. You must be so proud of the adult that your baby has become! There is no better gift to a parent than seeing the values, that you worked so hard to instill in your child, become a vital part of who they become. Chris is not only an inspiration, but a fantabulous role model for all of us. I am reminded of a day shortly before Christmas, more than 25 years ago, when one of my children came home with a piece of paper on which was written something that had been read and left an impression. The words led to our “adopting” a different Family each year, to provide gifts and a meal where otherwise they might not have been. The experience of shopping for others has been a gift to all of us. The words that started it are forever in my heart…”You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” – John Bunyan. Chris has discovered two wonderful and much needed organizations. Thank-you for sharing!

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    • I LOVE that John Bunyan quote!!! Yes, I am very proud of Chris … her heart and values are far better than my own, in fact! I also love your tradition of adopting a family! What a beautiful thing to do! Hats off to you for that! By the way … thank you so much for the pictures of Benjamin! He is adorable!

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      • Our annual tradition started off on a modest scale with just one child. As each of my children increased their income the size of their giving also increased, until we were able to “adopt” an entire Family and add a meal too. Even little Benjamin has had an active part in choosing gifts for other children, already understanding that not every child is as fortunate as himself. We are not rich in terms of money, but rich in the things that money can’t buy. If I could bottle and sell the joy that Benjamin gives to me, I would be very rich indeed…but alas, I am too selfish to share and keep it all for myself! So glad that you liked the photos, he was so proud of the tree, and his first Gingerbread Man costume was so much better than mine. We so appreciated your email comment too, made me cry! Thank-you!! P.S. That quote was the motivator so many years ago. Values must be given to children by parents, take credit for the giving if not for the results!

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        • Your family has obviously inherited your heart of gold! I have an idea … would you mind if I featured you and your family as one of my ‘good people’ next week? I don’t have to use full names or pictures if you would prefer that I didn’t, but the idea that you came up with based on a single quote, and the way it blossomed and is still carried on today … that is the kind of good people we need to hear more about! Let me know via email what your thoughts on that are.

          I know just what you mean about the joy Benjamin gives to you, for Natasha has always done the same for me! Still does. They are our future … they are the hope for the continuance of the human race … we must teach them love, kindness, compassion … and I think we both do that.

          I will take this early opportunity to wish you and your family a Happy New Year, and hopes that we can see some changes for the better in the coming year.

          Hugs, dear Ellen!

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  2. Thank you for the information. I will add these to the charities Ron and I support. Several times a year Ron and I pick a person or a charity and we do something for them. These sound like great ones for us to support. Hugs

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