Wednesday 11 January 2012

'Thank you from The Three Robbers' a guest post from Stuart Glen

Stuart wrote this great piece and asked if he could post it on my blog. I've never really thought about guest blogs before, so wasn't sure. Then I read it, it's really good. So I said yes. Hope you enjoy.

A chance discovery in a museum on a family vacation in New England leads to a wonderful example of personalised donor care from Child’s i Foundation? Stuart Glen explains, 

With two wee boys – one aged six and the other two – a visit to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art was top of our to-do list in Massachusetts last summer. It’s refreshing to know that America can deliver attractions like The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art – not all attractions need to be crammed full of rollercoasters and fast food franchises. We spent a magical afternoon at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, marvelling at the artwork on display, completing a treasure hunt and taking part in a storytelling session. The unexpected bonus was an additional exhibition of the work of Tomi Ungerer, a French artist, illustrator and author, who’s work until then I was unfamiliar with.

Six year Mackenzie’s personal tribute to the museum scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

The museum provided me with a magical memory that I will treasure until the day I die. I sat in the Tomi Ungerer exhibition with my two year old on my lap and read to him an exhibition copy of The Three Robbers. First published in 1959, it’s a charming tale of three robbers with tall black hats who use their plundered bounty to buy a castle in order to look after the abandoned children of the land. Exquisitely illustrated, it’s a tale that stands the test of time. The sentiment seeping through the story struck a chord with me as I sat in the museum cuddling my two year old. I immediately thought of the wonderful Child’s i Foundation – a charity extremely close to my heart.

Child’s i Foundation are awesome. Their Baby and Family Centre in Malaika, Uganda provides short-term care for up to 24 at-risk babies; and the tenacious Lucy Buck, the founder of Child’s i Foundation is constant source of inspiration to me. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Lucy now on a couple of occasions – I invited her to speak at the Institute of Fundraising Scotland Conference 2011 where she delivered an unforgettable and emotionally charged closing plenary. Not a dry eye in the house, or was that just me? Lucy has a penchant for making me cry.

As a thank you to Lucy, I presented her with the copy of The Three Robbers that we bought in the museum. This was a huge wrench for me – this book conjured up images and emotions of a magical moment. Of course, I had to ask both the boys’ permission first. But the charming tale reminded me of Lucy and her amazing journey with Child’s i Foundation.

I know Lucy realised the significance the gift.

When she returned to Uganda I received an email that reduced me tears. Again. It’s a picture of Lucy reading The Three Robbers to one of the children in the Malaika Baby and Family Centre.

From Lucy’s email, “It is a beautiful book and I must admit I keep it in my office as I don't want the kids to damage it but it is becoming a bit of a favourite!”
Lucy’s email was heartening but on Christmas Eve, Child’s i Foundation delivered a level of personal donor care that I believe can only be demonstrated by a small charity in tune with their donors. On Christmas Eve I received a handmade, hand-written Christmas Card. No design agency was involved. No clever creative or call to action. Instead, a thank you. The card design featured the hand-print of eight month old, Liam [as a parent I know how much fun was had making that hand-print] and inside a hand written message from Lucy. It read,

“Thank you so much for all your support this year and believing in me and Child’s i Foundation… “

I’ve done nothing. My £2.50 a month is not going to change the world, but Childs i Foundation make me feel like I’m genuinely making a difference. I believe Childs i Foundation when they say, “The personal contribution of each and every participant makes as they support Child’s i Foundation – whether through time, money or love – is something we recognise and value highly.” I buy this.

The innovation Child’s i Foundation have demonstrated online is well documented. There is a strong community online supporting and advocating their work. But this magical personal touch really does strengthen the bond with their donors. The proof is in the pudding – this evening, I’ve doubled my monthly contribution to Child’s i Foundation. Perhaps Lucy should don a tall black hat?

Stuart Glen is Fundraising Manager at Kilbryde Hospice. He writes this article in a personal capacity. Follow Stuart on Twitter - @stuglen.

1 comment:

  1. wow... truely something... inspirational and God sent to those beautiful children. Am close to tears ma self and i dont know the contents of the book!!!

    God bless you all at Child i Foundation