Charity Begins at H…Hand Picked by Henrietta

Charity Begins at H…Hand Picked by Henrietta

Ah, the old proverb, 'Charity Begins at Home'; so often misunderstood, even misused. Our first responsibility is to our own family, our people. Extend that to our community. Then take it further. Our country. Our entire planet. Also, maybe it begins at home because we should LEARN it at home? Be nice, don't be unkind.  And a personal favourite: "if you can't say anything nice, say nowt". Yep, charity BEGINS at home,but please don't ever let it end there. Compassion is GLOBAL.

A Helping Hand

We take our home charities and responsibilities seriously at Hand Picked by Henrietta, both as a company and locally, in our shops. The past eighteen months have been tough for everyone, and it's been a double whammy for charities. Their donations reduced drastically as people's disposable incomes invariably fell, and catastrophically, most fundraising events simply stopped dead. Full stop.

To add insult to injury, the charities had already invested in planned events. Time, organisation, marketing, and all the effort that goes into events AND all their ongoing, everyday costs…

Gemma is Doing More

We actively support several charities that are close to our hearts here at Hand Picked by Henrietta. Our sought-after and utterly delightful online gift hampers support Stage 4 Deserves More; a charity set up by Chapel-en-le-Frith Mum, Gemma Ellis. Gemma is just 38, with two adorable daughters. Ruby and Scarlett are just 9 and 11 and help Mummy run the charity. Gemma's stage 4 inflammatory breast cancerdiagnosis in February 2017 turned their lives upside down.She has treatment every three weeks and tries to live her life normally. Gemma bravely set up Stage 4 Deserves More to support women - or men – facing the same pain and heartbreak, as she "felt there wasn't a great deal of support or awareness around for Secondary Breast Cancer".

We are proud to help her in this work, and it means a lot to me as I lost a good friend this year. With every hamper purchased, Hand Picked by Henrietta sends an item, with love, to be added to a Stage 4 Deserves More support packages. Small charities such as this have had their funds decimated by the pandemic, lockdowns and restrictions, so if you can help in any way, I know they'd be ever so grateful.

Pop a Penny (or More) in the Pot

Our shops also display collection boxes on the counters, so we can all help out by popping in our loose change. Let's face it, who misses a few pence here and there? Yet, those pennies all add up and can make a big difference to such a small charity. Our Chapel shop hosts a box for Nerve Tumours UK, another small charity connected to the Hand Picked team member. Nerve Tumours UK provides support and information about Neurofibromatosis (NF1 and NF2) and Schwannomatosis. The charity also campaigns and raises awareness for the26,500 people in the UK affected. Nerve Tumours UK are dedicated to improving sufferers' lives and ensuring they can access the help they need.

Poynton's Heroes

Our Poynton Charity box needs no introduction. We're all familiar with Poynton's lovely Ollie and Amelia and their incredible, inspirational family. Ollie's Army Battling Against Battens is all about them and the countless other families whose lives and dreams have been cruelly ripped apart. Batten Disease is a Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinose (NCL). This progressive disease begins in early childhood and gets worse.Children seem healthy at first. They develop normally before showing symptoms such sight loss, seizures, and abnormal movement - even dementia. Eventually, children typically become blind, wheelchair-bound, unable to communicate and lose all cognitive functions. There are several different typesof NCL, but there is NO cure. ALL are fatal with a significantly shortened life expectancy.

Just a Card Can Help

It's hard to follow that, so I'll wrap up for now, except to remind you all that we'll have a gorgeous and not-the-same-as-all-the-rest range of Charity Christmas cards. This year,we're featuring Abacus Cards, supporting Marie Curie and theBritish Heart Foundation, and Claire Maddicott cards supporting Parkinson's UK and Clic Sargent. I know you'll agree these are all worthy charities, helping millions of people and even saving lives. They're designed, printed and hand-finished in the UK on a high-quality FSC board, supporting many small artists and photographers, too.

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another. Charles Dickens

No one has ever become poor by giving. Anne Frank

Even the smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. Oscar Wilde

Take their advice. Even the tiniest contributions and gestures can make a world of difference. Between us, maybe we CAN change the world. We can certainly try.