Munificence In The Merrion

This morning, I spent a couple of hours as part of a fundraising team representing the Marie Curie organisation. Our locale Leeds city centre, our voluntary remit to appeal to the benevolence of Morrisons supermarket customers, Merrion Shopping Centre in situ.

The journey almost starting dramatically when, while waiting for a bus on Selby Road, a guy undertook a risky road crossing in front of a speeding ambulance. Thankfully he reached the other side unscathed, although only by inches after misjudging the alarm ringing vehicle’s speed as it hared towards Crossgates.

The comic irony of being knocked over by a hospital bound emergency vehicle wasn’t lost on me. Although it wouldn’t have been remotely funny, I smiled at an imaginary vision of the guy being knocked over. Followed by the ambulance men stopping to lift him up with an arm and a leg each, prior to throwing him in the back of the vehicle before speeding off again St James’ Hospital bound.

As I said above, someone being knocked over by a vehicle, whether fatally or in a minor capacity is not in the least bit whimsical. There’s a part of me, though, which can’t help concluding if this guy had received a small injury from the incident he’d have been the target of some fearful ribbing from his mates.

Thankfully for all concerned the guy avoided being struck by the emergency vehicle. Leaving me to relay the tale without guilt.

On arriving in Leeds city centre I alighted the bus on the Headrow.  Prior to a slow meander towards St John’s Centre for breakfast, along with forwarding urgent post to my wife Karen whose currently residing in County Durham. Her presence in the north east the consequence of a vigil at her moribund mother’s bedside, whose condition in a Tyneside hospital is critical. 

Consequently, Monday’s uplifting oncologist bulletin of my spouse’s tumours remaining stable, has been cruelly blasted out of the water by news of her stricken mum. A cruel, cruel turn of events for the little County Durham lass. Fate not even bequeathing her a full week to bask in the glory of a rare heartening communication.

Anyhow, after a McDonald’s breakfast and forwarding the post that Karen had requested, I crossed from the St John’s Centre to the Merrion Centre, where at 11am my two hour voluntary stint was scheduled to commence.

Following greeting a fellow volunteer, whose collecting shift mirrored mine, I donned the yellow tabard synonymous with the Marie Curie organisation and, with collecting tin in hand, took my place near the store’s entrance.

As usual when undertaking this type of ‘work’, the next 120 minutes proved  uplifting. A result of witnessing the munificence of store patrons, along with hearing the individual stories from the benefactors of how the end of life support organisation had assisted with their terminally ill family members.

A great fillip to mitigate against seemingly constant negativity in all forms of media. Sights and sounds going towards restoring the recipients faith in human nature – And most importantly providing much needed funds for Marie Curie to continue facilitating their essential end of life support.

At 1pm, my fellow volunteer and me passed the fundraising baton onto two other group members. Likeminded individuals who’ll hopefully benefit from the same munificence as my colleague and I did, which’ll hopefully result in a fruitful day for Marie Curie’s coffers. It certainly was for my spirits.

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