It’s the final day of RAG Week and you’ve probably noticed the green theme thats been going on in the Union over the last few days. It’s been brilliant so a massive well done to Shelley, Sophie and the rest of the RAG crew who made it so. I personally spammed all my friends with every event RAG was running, and I’m extremely grateful to the tired, ill, and overworked friends who still showed up at the Pub Quiz (I’m not sure they were very grateful to me). But they did turn up, because they knew I was right when I said it was for a good cause. And that’s kind of the point. RAG might be cheesy sometimes and spamming you with everything we do might be annoying, but every penny we raise will go to helping people who really need it.
RAG Week primarily raises money for The Community Fund; a pot of money which is given out annually to small Leeds based charities, who do not receive regular donations, and have a yearly turnover of £100,000 or less. Every year the Community Fund Coordinator has to choose from the many charities applications who we can donate to; it’s not a job I envy.
In the past The Community Fund has given to a diverse range of causes: Halton Moor and Osmond Thorpe Project for Elders provides services and activities for older people to prevent loneliness, and help them keep their independence, No Going Back provide support and legal representation to people who’ve been forced to flee their own countries because of their sexual orientation or gender, Sunshine and Smiles organise groups and events to improve the lives of children and families living with Downs Syndrome, HOMED work tirelessly to try and provide homeless people in Leeds with hot meals, clothes and essential items, and this barely scratches the surface. So, my constant Facebook posts might be annoying to you, but at least you’re safe, at least you’re warm, at least you have food and a roof over your head.
Last year at The Community Fund presentation afternoon many of the charities representatives talked about how much more the donations were needed since third sector funding has been dramatically cut. One of the charities has recently lost their funding and can now only afford to open one day a week. The economic downturn has had a hugely detrimental impact on charities across the UK so they need our support more than ever. It’s important to remember the reason behind RAG is to help real people: we’re not running around making fools of ourselves in bright green t-shirts just for fun. Support for those who need it should be something we are proud to give, and I can think of few causes more worthwhile than those which The Community Fund helps. So next time you walk past a RAG tin, stall, or bucket collection, remember that you will actually be helping a real person with what you give.
Image Credit: http://www.charitytoday.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/RAG-Members.jpg