What coffee, anti-ageing and Typhoon Haiyan have in common

Daddy Pig has always said I’m a marketing man’s dream.

I have a drawer full of cosmetics and empty promises to prove it.

Well since having kids, I’m less of a dream and much more of a marketing man’s complete and utter fantasy.

But.  It does depend on what he’s selling.

Creams that promise to de-line, decrease and radiate?  Nope.  He can keep those.  There’s only one thing that does all three as I found out the other day when I quizzed a colleague on her amazing skin.  ‘What do you use?’ I asked.  Before discovering she is 25.  Youth.  That’s what she uses.  Point made.

However, show me an African child with a bucket on her head walking three hours to get fresh water and I’m texting the number to make a donation before the advert’s even finished.  Quite often, it’s the price of a coffee I’ve given up.  And who can’t afford that?  Honestly.

And yet I never used to be like this.  I actually didn’t believe that donating to charity made a difference.  That I could make a difference.  Take those irritating charity packs with the free pens that would come through the door.  Why don’t they just stop sending them, I’d think, that’s £2.00 wasted right there?

Now, I’m in a position where I have to believe my donation can make a difference.  Because aside from hopping on the next plane to a disaster zone, which Daddy Pig, Beaver and Godivy might just take issue with, more often than not it’s all I can do.

It’s really easy to be ambivalent about charity.  There are so many to support, we don’t know where to begin.  So either we don’t begin at all.  Or we console ourselves with the knowledge that ‘charity begins at home’ and we are already doing enough.  The thing is, it often begins on the other side of the world in the most desperate of situations.

Today, it is in the disaster area of the Philippines, where I just can’t see how they will begin to recover from the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, which has claimed 10,000 lives.  But they will.  With our help.

Typhoon Haiyan somehow feels all the more poignant in the wake of St. Jude.  Because only geography and a milder climate stands between us and more freakish, destructive weather.  That’s all.

And so I’ve donated my coffee this week to The Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan Appeal.  It isn’t much but cumulatively with others doing the same, I hope it will make a difference and allow these people to start rebuilding their lives, in some way at least.

If you’d like to join me you can donate to any of the major charities supporting the relief effort including The Red Cross, Oxfam and Save The Children.

And if you still need another reason to give up your coffee, did you know that caffeine speeds up the ageing process?

Just think of the dosh you’ll be saving on all those creams.


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