Saturday 30 April 2016

What giving away £1,000 means to me...

This week saw the annual Open charity giveaway. The moment in the year where the owners of the business give every member of staff £1,000 to give to the charities of their choice.

It’s one of the many many reasons why I love working where I do. 

Shared values are very important to me and there is no better way of knowing that you share values with your colleagues than sitting a room with all 57 of them and hearing them explain who they are giving to and why they decided to give. 

For the record I gave £500 to Somerset STAR and £500 to Medecins Sans Frontieres.

The former because I come from Somerset and I know from my first hand experience that if the kids there get a shit start to life it can set their trajectory for ever. So I asked Somerset STAR who work all over Somerset if they’d restrict my gift to my home town. And they agreed. And every time I donate they send me a breakdown of what my money has been spent on over the last 12 months.

A photo posted by Paul de Gregorio (@degregoriopaul) on

It fills me with pride to see this list. It feels me with pride that some kid in my home town has a camera part funded by my donation and is hopefully pursuing their passion with it.

I will give to this organisation for the rest of my life based on the experience that Open gave me.

I gave to MSF for a number of reasons. But mostly because I have been massively impressed by their response to the situation in Syria and the refugee crisis in Europe. It disgusts me that both situations are real situations, but I take reassurance that our species isn’t morally bankrupt when I see the work of organisations like MSF.

I went first this year. And to be honest I felt a little overcome with emotion as I explained my reasons. But what made that OK was the fact that I was sat alongside 57 other people who give as much of a shit as I do.

I wrote the words that sit alongside this picture when I was on the bus home after the event...

Fiona also wrote about the experience here.

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