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Blog no: 9 Is your heart a bit too big? Mine is, here's how you can use yours well.

My mum and therefore I struggled for money when I was a child – we were very poor, so we had to make possessions and things such as food, drink, herbal medicines and clothes last for as long as they could. This has left me with a heart that is bit too big – I cannot bear to see people do without or struggle with the little they have.

To live with being a big hearted old softy, I find the best way to help out, but not leave myself in a financial situation when I would need support from anyone who is kind enough to give or lend me money – I always put a small amount of money into my savings accounts. I keep it the same small amount each month, so I can still afford to live. I donate to a few charities – either a one off biggish (well for me) amount, if a charity really touches somewhere in my heart as there is an individual or a group of people who have been really unfortunate. It could be in a number of health or financial ways – I donate money to them. If it’s a charity that will support others for an ongoing time such as Marie Curie and Sight savers do, I set up a donation of a small amount of money each month until the end of my days and I’ll leave them a small amount in my will, because these diseases and disabilities aren’t going away from people’s lives fast.

If you aren’t particularly financially flushed but you want to donate to your chosen charity, you and your family & friends, could do what I used to do when I was in my younger years, such as a sponsored race for a charity, or a sponsored walk. If you want to try raising some big money, here’s an idea for you which should help to put a smile on your face…..

When my best friend Lisa and I were 15 years old, for Comic Relief we did a sponsored: a few hours long soak in a bean bath. I have some hilarious photos to prove it. We bought the cheapest supermarket baked beans we could find, filled my bath with them and sat in them having a good laugh for a few hours. We even ate the beans after that – waste not want not!

We raised £500.00 for Comic Relief, which back in my youth – 25 years ago – was a decent amount of money.

If you don’t like the idea of that because you don’t like baked beans, or you don’t have a bath, you could ask at your school or your work, if you could have a fancy dress day and the charity you’re raising money for can’t lose. You have to donate if you want to wear fancy dress for a bit of light fun wherever you are and you have to pay a small amount of money if you don’t get involved by wearing something silly. Please make sure you tell everyone that every penny raised will go to whichever charity you choose.

If you have a friend or you know of someone who is having a constant problem at home with a sibling, parent or in their neighbourhood in general, do try to invite them to spend weekends with you at yours and stay the night at your home, just to let their brain and body have a break from being treated badly and so they can feel content in themselves and have a good laugh with you.

If you can do this, trust me it will make you feel and look to everyone in your life that you’re a really decent kindhearted human being.

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