MacMillan’s Magnanimity

Well this time next week the fat bloke dressed in red will have distributed his presents and now be troughing on a hearty five course Christmas dinner…….. But enough already about the profligate Christmas Day goings on in footballer Wayne Rooney’s family home!

I spent a couple of hours at lunchtime today in a store at retail park close to Leeds city centre, where I was collecting as part of a team of volunteers for MacMillan Cancer Support.

Yuletide shoppers were magnanimous with both their donations and spirit, as we stood in our green t-shirts hoping we wouldn’t be mistaken for the Grinch who stole Christmas. Thankfully we weren’t, although with my excessive hirsuteness it was probably a close run thing on my part.

A wide demographic of benefactors displayed a generosity akin to an elderly miser shown the error of his ways during visits by three spirits overnight. Hopefully, when all of the team finish collecting later this afternoon, a princely sum will have been raised for an excellent cause.

One young lad, Macaulay Culkin of age and appearance, took a break from purchasing home protection weaponry to spend a minute or so donating a handful of coins. He inserted each one into the collection bucket slot with the care and precision of a surgeon undertaking a neurological procedure.

He was just one of numerous kind individuals who, despite the cost of the holiday season, still had time to stop and give to a charitable cause which supports thousands of families nationwide.

As I’ve written before when undertaking of voluntary work for charitable causes, my cynicism about the human race is always slightly tempered during these collections. I generally drive home afterwards telling myself “See Gary, not everybody is a selfish, hot-headed, self-entitled so and so!…… Bloody hell, what’s that chuffing idiot doing driving at 50mph in the middle lane?!!….. The feckless berk!!”

It is also a great fillip being in the company of fellow volunteers. Individuals who are positive of nature with great humanity and selflessness. People whose only motive when giving their time gratis is to help fund support for cancer patients and their families.

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I’ve penned previously of Karen’s illness being an ‘unwanted visitor’ in our home. The toxic intruder whose bad breathe, appalling table manners, unseemly comb over and an obsession with watching Jeremy Kyle on a loop, we can’t shift……… Or is that my uncle Trent?……. No it’s definitely cancer.

Well MacMillan Cancer Support can’t shift our unwelcome house guest but, with the support of individuals like today’s benefactors and volunteers, they can help ease the strain of living with this uninvited visitor…… Even if it’s just hiding the TV remote control so it can’t put Jeremy Kyle on!

Seriously, though, the assistance my family has received from this charitable group over the past six years from counselling, treatments, meetings, financial advice and meetings has been invaluable. My small gesture of voluntary work for them now and again cannot begin to repay what I owe them.

Right, I must dash. The people of Whoville’s presents won’t steal themselves! 

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