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Charity is not about showing off

Jal Paddy,

Queens Park Rangers, commonly known as QPR, is one of the big football clubs in London, although at present not in the English Premier league. 

This month before their weekend Championship match with Aston Villa, they asked fans to carry along non-perishable food items like rice, flour and tinned foods to help stock up the community food bank.

The likes of Liverpool, Everton, Burnley and other clubs around the country have also carried out similar charity drives.

A food bank is where stocks of food are supplied free of charge to people who are in need. These stocks are donated by those who have excess or are out to help.

For instance, a mother struggling to provide milk for her little one can pick up powdered milk at her local food bank.

It may surprise you, but even in the UK, there are people and families who struggle to afford basic provisions like food, soap or a decent meal. Food banks, therefore, become their go-to place.

According to an online channel Buzzfeed, the top five most requested for items at food banks in the UK are tin openers (logical, considering all the tinned foods need opening first), baby food, toilet paper, nappies and toiletries like soap and deodorants.

The food banks don’t only benefit the locals, but have also been a good source of emergency relief supply to places like Haiti, Indonesia and the Sudan. Our local church food bank supplies a hard up local church community all the way in Kenya.

This, my friend, is one of the perfect examples of how charity giving should be executed. In a food bank, you have an already established local entity within the community where those in need can access help freely and in a dignified manner.

If yours is a soft heart for street children and orphans, look up reputable local establishments trying to accomplish the same and reach out through them.

Lowering your car window in traffic jam and splashing these kids with a few notes on Kampala road while recording it live on Facebook is the true definition of pretentiousness.

Not only does it show a total lack of respect for those you think you are trying to help, but such acts also rarely make a difference in the lives of the recipients.

But then, I guess being charitable is the last thing on the minds of these young Facebook ‘millionaire celebs’.

We shouldn’t allow these money-splashing antics to become the definition of charitable giving in Uganda. The Bible tells us in Mathew 6:4 that when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that your giving may be discreet, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

I couldn’t care less for all the showiness these ‘millionaire celebs’ bring to the humble act of charity, but my big concern is that they drive away the many charitable hearts out there eager to help with the little they have.

Just like it is always said that it takes a whole village to educate a child, so does it take a whole village to support one another, to help and to stand together in times of need.

Charity is about togetherness and neighbourliness.

Yours friend,

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