We’ve all heard the saying “charity begins at home”, but what does it actually mean? A proverb dictionary tells me that it is that “a person’s first responsibility is for the needs of their own family and friends”. Do you think this is right? I think that although we do all have a responsibility to our own family and friends, there is an important wider issue of our responsibility to society.

Did you also hear in the news recently the accusation from the Labour MP, David Lammy that Stacey Dooley was perpetuating the “white saviour” complex? It’s difficult as a white person to know how to get it right. Have I previously been a part of this? I don’t know, but it does make me uncomfortable when I hear of our first world giving money to poorer nations especially if accompanied by mandating how they should behave – “do what I say, not what I do” always springs to mind. When I travelled around the world in 1999-2000, I was embarrassed to be white and British. Visiting countries where we had once ruled and seeing the results first-hand was not what I wanted from my year off. I felt guilty on behalf of those who had gone before, and thankful that most of us have moved on from those attitudes. Have we moved far enough? Is “white saviour” complex the result of moving so far that we think we have to, or can save, black people, or that they need saving in the first place? It’s a tricky line to tread.

So what do I do? What do you do? Donating to charity doesn’t just mean giving money. There are other options:

  • donate your time
  • shop in charity shops
  • donate items for charities to sell

Personally I donate regularly to charities (Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, WWF, Isabella’s Fight for a Better Life) and will give to other charities outside of these if I can (e.g. my daughter’s school PTA, Lizzie’s Fund) and each of these charities will appreciate your support, so I have included the links.

Right from the beginning when I set up Josie Dom Ltd in 2015, I knew that I wanted my company to include, as much as possible, an ethical element which included charity donations. I therefore set aside 15% of profit from all book sales to charity. Last year I was able to donate £275 to Brainwave, a charity helping disabled children to reach their full potential. This year, my chosen charity is The Buddy Bag Foundation, who provide backpacks containing essential items and a few treats for children entering emergency accommodation in the UK.

I would be delighted if you’ll help me to raise funds for them by purchasing my books. Click here to go straight to my shop. Many thanks, Josie x