THE British are rightly labelled the most generous nation on earth when giving to worthy causes.
The top one thousand charities in the UK have combined annual receipts in excess of a staggering 19 billion pounds which is made up of donations, purchases, and legacy income.
The range covers a whole spectrum of causes and these charities include everything from animal and environmental organisations to disease research and the arts.
But even this amount is dwarfed by the estimated 37 billion raised in total through the 160 thousand charities registered in the UK.
We are all familiar with the well established ones such as Cancer Research UK, Help For Heroes, Oxfam, The Salvation Army, RSPCA and a host of other household names, but amongst them there are thousands of less well known organisations dealing with localised issue and no less vital for that.
Where there is a need of help and aid for deserving cases, we Brits it seems, are always ready to put our hands in our pockets and long may that be the case.
A practice that seems to be on the increase at this time of year as we ease into the Christmas season, is to be told by friends and relatives that from now on they will not be sending cards, but will instead, donate to charity.
One of our great pleasures at Christmas time is receiving cards from our friends and acquaintances, the majority of whom live in the UK and many far flung locations, and often it is the only time of the year when we have specific contact.
We receive similar pleasure from sending cards and always include a well chosen line or two summarising our year; the whole point being that we preserve and perpetuate our link with people who have played a sometimes small, but important part in our past lives.
The cost of mailing cards is a factor as are personal reasons for donating to a particular cause,but often the only reason for discontinuing the practice I suspect, is because of its time consuming nature and the hours spent in writing those few lines.
But isn’t that the point?
By putting aside the time and taking the trouble to remember our friends, we are illustrating that they are still very much in our thoughts and appreciate their attachment.
Charity is important at whatever time of year, but to risk losing that one link with friends and acquaintances in order to save time and energy, is a false and sad economy.