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Think Local; Act Local

So, initially I had to be cajoled into writing this. I protested that it was like showing off my snowman whilst my neighbour completed his snow sculpture of Mount Rushmore. But as I thought about it, I realised that my reaction to a Mount Rushmore snow sculpture would be “Wow!” Quickly followed by, “How do they find the time to do that?”

In the same way, my charitable actions couldn't possibly stretch to climbing Everest or running a marathon a day for a month without radically changing my life, besides which, whenever I see a snowman, I smile and think, “Great, let’s build snowmen”—so perhaps the little things are worth talking about.

The idea came to me over the festive period. Our office manager, Caroline, had the excellent idea that, rather than give each other gifts, cards, etc., we should donate toys to the local radio appeal for disadvantaged and vulnerable children. I'm an irregular contributor to charity, and whilst I know all charities need our help, this felt different. It was local, it was practical, it was immediate and it felt right.

I ended the year in typical fashion, musing on New Year’s resolutions. Get fit, lose weight, be a better person. I'm not sure how I arrived at it, but, inspired by Caroline’s toys idea, and with a loft full of books (long story) coupled with a desire to get out even more on my bike, I started Books by Bike.

So my idea was to give books away, get some cycling in and donate money to a great cause every time I deliver a book. I didn’t anticipate that among my first “customers” would be a lady who helps transport a young man with learning disability (LD) who has an obsession with Narnia and another lady whose father with dementia might just appreciate my soccer history book. Not anticipated, but reassuring that the project was worth persevering with.

It’s sometimes easy to fall into the trap of seeing the extraordinary things that some people do and to think it's the only way. It's not. Little things make a big difference. Even the smallest effort to ensure Care, Welfare, Safety, and SecuritySM is a big gesture. I'll share future “little” wins; please feel free to share your own “little” stories as well.

Little Local Things to Inspire Action
A couple of local charities that the staff in CPI Europe support:

  • Key 103’s Cash for Kids provides a helping hand to disabled and disadvantaged children across Greater Manchester.
  • Altrincham Foodbank, in association with the Trussell trust, provides emergency food and support to families in crisis.

A few organisations that the staff in our US office support:

  • Good Friend, Inc. fosters acceptance of children with autism among their typically-developing peers.
  • The Horicon Phoenix Program promotes the local economy of a Main-Street Wisconsin community.
  • LifeStriders provides equine-assisted therapy for individuals with special needs.