Hi Guys! Virgin blogger here...why now you ask? Well the idea behind it all is to promote and keep everyone up to date with all the fundraising plans I'm making. The 'Ultimate Goal' is to raise £429 to build a Library but any more than that would be incredible! I've always been really interested in charity work so when I came across an "Oxfam Unwrapped" leaflet I was intrigued. Coming from a family of readers the Library seemed like an exciting and ideal project to get involved in so I approached them and in true Maraj tradition they were all on board, guns blazing! Great!

I am completely new to blogging but as I am looking to get more involved with Oxfam, keeping record of it all for myself and others seems like a nice idea; something to reflect on and share! Hopefully this doesn't come across as too self-indulgent; raising money will remain my top priority & I'm hoping you all can help me do that, be it through support or donations!

"The mind is everything; what you think you become"

Let the journey begin....

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

The Past, Present and the damn good looking Future

I’m around 10 years old and I’m stood at the back corridor on the phone to my Uncle.  I can’t remember his exact words but I remember feeling quite embarrassed as he explained that although giving all my money to charity was incredibly generous, it was in fact not a wise decision.  Not that I had a substantial amount anyway, around £50 I think and in time I would definitely come to need it.  I felt a little scolded as I always tended to feel being a rather nervous and over-sensitive child and it took a while to realise that I was actually being taught to live within my means; incredible advice mistaken for mean discouragement.  It’s funny how these situations can seem so different as a child, so dramatic!  This story however isn’t to point out how melodramatic I was nor brag about being a generous child, in fact if you spoke to my sister she would quickly correct that mind frame with stories of tantrums because “she took my top and I didn’t get to wear it first!”  Generous is not quite the word, I can admit to that however awful it may seem.  It’s more that I have always had this need to save the world and all its inhabitants, feeling that if it were me out there and someone turned their head I would be devastated.  I’ve never understood the “turn-a-blind-eye” mentality; why would people choose to ignore the suffering of another?  How can we complain of our trivial problems whilst mother’s watch their children die before they’ve even lived?  As that 10 year old I didn’t see beyond that view, I never realised that I should really establish how to look after myself before venturing further.  Having said that, I am currently unemployed and no longer in education and I’m setting up fundraising events...never mind, perhaps that phone call wasn’t quite as scary and traumatic as I thought it had been.  In fact having spoken to my Uncle and Mother recently, no one seems to recall it aside from me.  Perhaps my imagination was wilder than I remember...well, a made up conversation on the phone...perhaps I shouldn’t use “wild” so loosely.

As I got older I never felt justified in my actions although I knew I didn’t have the money to give away freely.  I promised myself that I would do more when I could and  I suppose that as a girl in her 20's with a relatively good grip on life and its realities, I feel now is the best time to take action.  Either that or I’m having another tantrum and refuse to wait until I’ve “established” myself.  I think deep down I know that won’t be for a while.  So yes!  Here I am, typing my very first blog!  Yay!  I suppose I should explain what I’m planning and where it all came from.  I had been shopping on the Oxfam website for Secret Santa and maybe a little gift for me too ;) and once it arrived it came with an Oxfam Unwrapped magazine.  Inside were the different gift ideas they offer like buying goats or chickens, not for that person of course, I know quite a few people who wouldn’t appreciate a farmyard roommate, but for people abroad.  My aunty had done that before for us at Christmas once but I never realised just how big these gifts could get.  My attention was taken by the Library and I thought that due to the prices people were probably less likely to buy gifts such as these...well then maybe it doesn’t have to be just the one person...? How about the whole family buying it...? How about raising the money...? The ideas kept coming and soon I was confident that it was an idea worth throwing out there.  As a family, together we could raise the money and pay for a Library to be built.  Of course when I put it forward everyone, one spectacular Aunty in particular thought it was a lovely idea and agreed to it!  They have been enormously generous so far, willing to give a pound at every family gathering however bizarre and unexpected the occasion appears.

Our first fundraising event went down pretty nicely as Kavi, our younger cousin and budding musician generously agreed to play his violin and have the money raised all go to Oxfam.  We raised £20 by selling tickets at £2, a bargain if you ask me when you realise you’re listening to the likes of “hills & dales,” and “Knickerbocker Glory.”

The second event wasn’t exactly a fundraising ‘event’ but a fun game at a birthday meal. We were all asked to put a pound in (50p for the kids) and as a coin was flipped we motioned to what we thought would be the outcome; heads, you place your hand on your head, and tails, well of course your hand goes on your bum!  Whoever wins at the end gets half the amount collected.  The winner in fact gave the money back and we raised £14; not bad considering it was just a one off game!

I’m incredibly fortunate to have such a wholesome family who surrounded me with an extensive amount of music, literature and theatre.  The books of my childhood are something I can never forget; it was the magic, the full mind, body and soul experience that you were thrust into after that first shiny page was turned.  In one day you could be racing from The Witches, hiding with The Night Shimmy and wondering through forests with talking animals!  It was truly incredible!  For children whose hardships are far worse than ours, what better way to escape life as they know it?  What better way to inspire, encourage and educate children who have no family left to turn to?

The fundraising ideas keep coming and we’ll soon be hosting an awards night, not quite The Oscars but we’ll do it in style!  Watch this space!

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