The fat lady has sung, and the money has been sent to the three causes I chose:
One by One Until There Are None (http://www.facebook.com/groups/382239931873396/), a group that fundraises for specific animals to come to the UK for rehoming.
Serbia's Forgotten Paws (http://www.facebook.com/groups/serbiasforgottenpaws/ or http://www.forgotten-paws.com/ ) , a group that fundraises for the rescue, treatment and rehoming of animals (mainly dogs) in Nis, Serbia.
Irinia Neblea (http://www.facebook.com/irina.neblea?fref=ts), a young woman who, with only her poorly mother to help her, cares for 60+ animals at her self-built rescue centre in Constanta, Romania, with no running water, no car to get her to the supermarket or the vet, who carries and pushes on a cart many litres of water and many kilos of food each day, who builds kennels and disinfects the land with her own hands and a brush.... I could go on. I thank all the fates that I have been able to raise funds to help her a little towards recovering - at least financially - from a recent devastating outbreak of distemper at the shelter. I know that my contributions are a drop in her personal ocean, but I also know that they are a help and that makes me feel good. I have also spread the word about her and she has received donations from at least three people because of that - thank you to J, M and S who have big hearts.
Each cause benefited from sponsorship money to the tune of £66, which I know will be used wisely.
I learned lessons from this challenge. I now know that I can live quite easily on £1 a day at today's prices, but that I cannot do so in a way that will keep me healthy. I learned that when you have little you don't waste any of it - you scrub carrots and potatoes, you do not peel them, because that peel may make the difference between going to bed comfortable or going to bed hungry. Literally. I learned that only refined pasta is cheap enough to eat on £1 a day; you can't afford to pay someone to leave the fibre in. Go figure. I learned that people are generous when you are honestly doing something to try to help. I have also learned that it is the same names, over and over, that you see offering donations and sponsorships. I have learned a lot, but already just a couple of weeks later I can feel those lessons fading into the background (apart from the donations one - I keep getting reminders of that).
And the next challenge is Ben's. I will spare you the photograph, but Ben is a dog who died un-named shortly after rescue from an inhumane "shelter" in Romania. I named him posthumously, because he epitomises the barbarity of those "shelters" in these countries where dogs are largely regarded as vermin to be poisoned, beaten, kicked or stoned to death. Somehow naming him felt like the decent thing to do, and I would rather he be remembered as Ben than as that dog in the awful photo.
Ben's challenge is open to anyone who would like to raise money for the dogs that are still savable from the same "shelter". The idea is that you take £10 of your own money (or whatever you can afford) and use it to invest in any way you choose, with a view to making it grow. You might buy cheap and sell for more, or buy ingredients and bake things to sell, or buy materials and *make* things to sell. Or you could go door to door offering your services to mow lawns or clean cars. Anything that will grow that original £10 stake into more than £10, for the animals. Then you send your profits (with or without the original £10, depending on your circumstances - entirely up to you) to me. When we have a sensible amount, it will go to Valcea, for the animals for whom it is not too late, in Ben's name. I think this is a *good* plan, and nobody loses anything except a little time. Please visit Ben's facebook page http://www.facebook.com/events/340458212749674/. Even if you don't fancy joining in, there might be something there that you'd like to buy :o)
|See this? (The string, not the cd. Ignore the cd)|
|It's turned into this, over at Ben's £10 Challenge!|