I have always given my £10 a month to a few charities, I didn’t really look into the charities that much other than if I had heard of them then I would donate.
Every year I would buy a couple of cakes for the big national charities knowing my 20p was going towards helping people.
I didn’t have to think about it, so I worked on the ignorance is bliss side of things.
It wasn’t until I was in a position where I needed help in getting sensory equipment for my children, that I understood what charities could help with.
It wasn’t until I needed someone to talk to going through the same thing, that I knew that charities brought families in similar situations together.
It wasn’t until I needed to speak to people about rare conditions and tests and what it meant emotionally for a parent that I understood what help there was out there.
I didn’t realise there were a lot of nationwide charities that had been around for decades that I had never heard of.
I realised how easy support was if you could find the right charity.
I realised that to get funding for equipment or for some private therapy, a lot of charities needed you to be claiming middle or higher rate Disabilities Living Allowance, that numerous doctor’s reports stating that you had a child with disabilities wasn’t enough to get the funding you need, that you need the government to officially say you were looking after a disabled child to get the help.
I realised quite quickly that there are a lot of charities who are pretty much unheard of except in the disability community who really help change the lives of those living with disabilities.
I realised that these lesser known charities are the ones I would have said no to giving a monthly donation.
I learnt that instead of feeling ashamed that I need the help of the charities, I felt so much better for asking for help.
I wasn’t any less of a parent and in fact saying I needed help makes me a better parent to a degree.
This International World of Charity Day (5th September) I will remember and spread the word that, charities are more than just the people trying to stop you in the street on your lunch break.
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