Happy and sad and Caitlin Moran

1. Happy
She’s done something terrific, Caitlin Moran – well, with a few other high-profile people. The campaign #helpiscoming is raising money for Save the Children. That’s fantastic.

Ms Moran mentions, in her column in today’s Times magazine (behind a paywall, sorry), that well-meaning people are sending the wrong stuff to refugee camps.

Money is good and effective, I know.

But, hang on …

I’ve met people over the last few weeks who are spending every waking moment – and the waking moments are getting longer and longer – doing the best they can, practically, for the refugee crisis.

Sorting piles of women’s and children’s clothes and high heels out from well-meaning Calais donations. Packing individual bags and boxes with the right food, the right toiletries and cleaning materials.

Heeding what the people on the ground want.

And many brave souls are going – on an organised basis – to the Jungle to help clean up.

2. Sad

Surplus clothes, pillows, duvets, etc, are going to homeless charities.

Inappropriate food is going to food banks.

While delivering several supermarket packs of baked beans and pork sausages (donated, amongst boxes of rice and other needed supplies, by Tesco) to our local foodbank, I accidentally strayed into a consultation. A sad, crumpled man, resorting to charity, to feed himself and his family. I felt ashamed to be there, an intruder on his humiliation.

So there we have it.

A worldwide crisis of refugees, fleeing war, terror, or just plain poverty, incidentally helping the homeless and hungry in the UK.

Does it matter what place in the wealthiest nations we occupy? I can’t be bothered looking it up.

It’s a crying shame. And now we’re all becoming so used to it, it’s not remarkable.

Well, actually, it is.

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8 Responses to Happy and sad and Caitlin Moran

  1. EllaDee says:

    It’s a humbling experience to come face to face with real people in unfortunate circumstances. And with the best of motivations it wouldn’t be a bad thing for more fortunate people to do so. Money’s one thing. Care packages are good. Volunteering assistance is great. Instead of witnessing life from a-comfortable-far, actually gaining real empathy, understanding and appreciation that there is no generic Them is quite another.

    Like

    • I agree – it’s been so long since I did any hands-on stuff, just believing donating to those who do it better/efficiently/professionally is the way to go – but we all act as ambassadors in small ways, don’t we, to some degree and do that better if we are informed? But the other side is that people shrug and just – ah, she’s just being holier than thou. I’d rather read something uplifting. But maybe those people are lost causes anyway. I always debate with myself before writing about this kind of thing – it’s a fine line to tread between a ‘please open your eyes and see this’ kind of plea and a ‘look I’m smugly doing good works’. 😦

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      • EllaDee says:

        Sometimes people in unfortunate circumstances could just benefit from a friendly connection or everyday chat (especially those who are trying to learn/improve their English language skills), and to feel that not everyone is a stranger.
        Go with put it out there, and you might just touch somebody… in the blogging forum anyway. In the real world, I’ve learned to pick my battles. Some people don’t want to hear what I’ve got to say, and won’t ever change unless the front page of the paper or evening news tells them what they want to hear…

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        • You’re right, of course, the people who are at the sharp end of all this need simple human interaction – that is yet another strand in this tangled web. I sometimes find it hard to understand why some people who are otherwise lovely and humane come over all – meh, not my problem – I suppose quite often though it’s because they feel they can’t do anything. As for front pages of newspapers – a change of tone here – for the first time in ages I really have been LOL – have you seen the #piggate hoo ha? Ha! Hilarious.

          Liked by 1 person

          • EllaDee says:

            Yesterday there was a pig ref in breaking stories which I didn’t pursue and this morning it’s hit the commercial radio commentary linked in with Mad Monday and boys will be boys commentary…

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            • There was a lot of LOL and will continue to be – but I think the most fascinating aspect of this is how mighty establishment figures deal with – revenge themselves on – what seems like betrayal – very interesting.

              Like

  2. charliebritten says:

    I think it is wonderful how, over the last few weeks, people in the Western world, have started to respond to this overwhelming crisis, but, yes, of course, it does have to be directed. Of courese, money is more useful than T-shirts which are too small, but is more capable of being syphoned off into pockets other than those of the refugees.

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    • I agree Charlie and hope that we all do enough of both to help/compensate in some small way for where our governments are failing. I hear about what’s happened at Calas today and despair of them.

      Like

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