When I used to work in a city office it was common for people to raise funds for charity on a Friday. However, I am not in a position to shake a bucket at all of you, so instead each week we shall look at a different charity.
The main focus for the charities we shall showcase will be ones that provide a health service, with emphasis on those that help people to get fit and lose weight to improve health. Sports charities and social groups will also hopefully be featured.
However, due to the crisis in Japan in the last week and the fact that it is “Red Nose Day” today in the UK, we shall off start by looking at The Red Cross and Comic Relief.
The Red Cross
The Red Cross are a global charity that provides emergency aid to people in crisis. They are usually the first aid on a scene and provide everything from water and blankets to medicine and shelter.
The Red Cross started by providing humanitarian help in war zones in 1863 but have since started using their resources and networks for aid in natural disasters too. There are now many branches to the Red Cross. The division of the Red Cross which deals with emergencies is the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Also, the Red Cross has national offices in most countries, and these come under the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Examples include the Japanese Red Cross, which have been organising aid in the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan at the moment. If you wish to donate direct to the Japanese Red Cross you can do so using Google donation page – this will convert your currency into Japanese Yen automatically and so get money to Japan quicker and with lower fees.
The British Red Cross who have worked extensively overseas in major disasters as well as working with HIV and tuberculosis across Africa and Asia. It also provides safe drinking water in many African countries.
The American Red Cross, also called the American National Red Cross, provides disaster relief within the USA. As well as disaster relief in America the American Red Cross also provides community services and aid for the needy, counselling for the military and their families, it manages blood donations and also provides educational programs on preparedness, health, and safety. It also provides some international relief and development programs.
Comic Relief and Red Nose Day
Red Nose Day is Comic Relief’s biennial charity event in the UK where people do fun things to raise money for a wide range of charities, both in the UK and internationally.
Comic Relief was founded in 1988 to provide aid during the famine in Ethiopia. Since then it runs an annual Red Nose Day that aims to increase awareness about global problems and raises money to provide aid.
The official website is www.comicrelief.com
In 2002 Comic Relief started Sport Relief, a series of fund raising events for the sporting community. Sport Relief and Comic Relief alternate each year. 2011 is a Comic Relief year, and today is Red Nose Day for Comic Relief.
In 2009 Eddie Izzard ran 1000 miles for Sport Relief (aired during the 2010 Sport Relief show). Other television celebrities have swam the English Channel (David Walliams), rowing the length of the Amazon (Helen Skelton).
All the money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of poor and vulnerable people, both at home and across the world’s poorest countries.
The official website is www.sportrelief.com
In March 2011 Comic Relief raised over than £74.3m (equivalent to US$117m), the highest figure reached on the night of the show in its 23-year history.
If you are in the UK it may not be too late to text “Yes” to 70010 to donate £10 to comic relief. The whole £10 goes to charity, nothing taken by the organizers.