Early one miserable grey wet evening, I passed a homeless man crouched in a doorway on a street in Dublin. There was a little dog, a terrier, lying beside him licking his hand. He wasn’t begging, just sitting but he looked so sad, so dejected that I really felt as if I couldn’t just walk by without doing something. So I decided to give him money. I slowed and surprised him by stepping over and looking directly at him-everyone else had hurried by, averting their eyes, it was like he didn’t exist, like he had become invisible in their world. I handed over a fist full of coins to him with the words “I’m sorry, that’s all I have.” What I had meant was ‘that’s all the money I have on me’. The man took it to mean ‘that’s all I have, I’ve nothing else’. Despite the fact he was huddled in rags, cold, filthy and no doubt very hungry, he tried to give the money back to me, telling me he couldn’t take it if that was all I had. It had never occurred to me that that one sentence would be taken so literally. But I should have realised, this man was alone except for his little furry friend, freezing and living on the streets, he could understand having nothing and yet he still tried to save me from the same fate.
Years later, this moment is still with me.
Donating, fundraising and volunteering, it enriches everyone’s life and makes the world a better place. No matter your circumstance, there is always someone worse off than you, so take the time to help. You may not have the money, but helping isn’t always about coins and notes, donate your free time or expertise instead; chatting to someone, helping a child with homework or just providing a friendly ear to a lonely person, never underestimate the affect you can have on people’s lives.
And please, let someone know when they have an affect on yours.
Both Latimer and I have particular charities and causes that are special to us. (Though we support each other’s chosen organisations as well.) Here you will find the option, should you like, to visit our pages of the charities we support and donate straight to them. It will be really really appreciated or even leave us a comment below, telling us about other charities that you support. We’d love to hear about them.
While we give what we can towards the charities now, when our books are published we will be donating a percentage of the earnings from those as well.
More on that though when it happens!
M. Latimer-Ridley’s Charities
Simon has a vision of society where no one is homeless. All people who are homeless, or at risk of facing homelessness, are given every opportunity to realise their potential to live fulfilled lives in appropriate homes of their own. Simon is recognised for providing innovative solutions to ending homelessness and for influencing government policy and public opinion.
Irish Heart Foundation
The Irish Heart Foundation works hard to prevent people developing cardiovascular disease and to support those affected by it. Our charity is the only national charity working to reduce death and disability from heart disease and stroke. We are 91 per cent funded by public donations.
The ISPCA (Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is the largest animal welfare organisation in Ireland and with the support of our many affiliated SPCA’s around the country, they rescue, rehabilitate and responsibly re-home thousands of animals every year.
Irish Cancer Society
The Irish Cancer Society is the national charity dedicated to preventing cancer, saving lives from cancer and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer through patient care, research and education.
Past records of donations to our chosen charity (many thanks for your generosity):