Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Honoured and humbled

Back when I started this blog, I never imagined anything would come of it. I wasn't after anything in particular, other than getting thoughts and emotions out of my system. It was encouragement and feedback which kept me motivated to write it, but never did I think it would take me anywhere. And to be fair, it still hasn't. But it might.

This morning I received an email from one of the UK managers at the Smile Train inviting Clare and me to a dinner in October at the Berkeley, no less, being held;
'as a thank you for our supporters and also a chance to celebrate some of our recent achievements - Smile Pinki's Oscar, our 500,000th corrective cleft surgery, and 10 years providing children with free cleft care.'
My name was suggested to Smile Train when organising the event by Martin Moodie, who I first wrote about on this post. We never did do any business with Martin but we've emailed a time or two about Jake and how he's doing, but I never thought something like this would happen. You might think this sounds over the top - it's just a charity event - but actually it's not just a charity event, it's an event for a charity that I really believe in, and that is something I never thought I'd say. I used to give a fiver a month to a charity for the blind after being door stepped 10 or so years ago. I thought it made sense as I have crappy eye sight and felt I might one day need their help. I guess I felt an affinity with the charity and in fairness, it was only a fiver. That said it was a pretty one sided relationship; money out, statement, not much else. Maybe giving a monthly donation, albeit tiny, made me feel better about myself and justify any personal shortcomings. Beyond that, nothing.

When I started reading about the Smile Train, I was intrigued, obviously, but due to a combination of the coincidence with Martin, all of my research on clefts, our experiences with Jake and the proactive approach the Smile Train take (such as the letter from Brian, the tweeting etc), I found myself feeling more a part of the whole process rather than one of many important, yet essentially impotent contributors. And that's an affinity.

I keep thinking that one day I'd like to go and have a look at what they do in the places they do it and then I think I'm not that sort of person. Maybe I'm not that sort of person, or maybe I'm not that sort of person yet but might be one day! Who knows?

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to the evening to find out more (like who does the tweeting for one!) and help celebrate with them, maybe even brush shoulders with Brian and especially to say thanks to Martin.

It's on the 8th of October so I'll do a full report the day (or so) after.

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