This morning it was great to be back on the metaphorical saddle of the metaphorical horse called Collecting For MacMillan.
It’s been eighteen long months since GJ Strachan’s last experienced the vim boost borne from undertaking voluntary work, and I’ve missed it enormously. COVID blocking off another uplifting avenue to further mess with my strained lockdown mental health.
Of the symptoms seeping unapologetically from coronaviruses bile it was re-assuring to learn one of them doesn’t appear to curbing an individuals benevolence. A fact highlighted by seeing Boots store customers donating in frequent altruistic waves,
Subsequently, making it a fruitful two hours for yours truly as I stood with green MacMillan collection bucket in hand, in the doorway of the chemist just off Albion Street, Leeds.
It’s no secret financial hard times have hit individuals, businesses and charities alike under COVID’s watch. That being said, although the UK’s overall financial zeitgeist is without doubt worse than pre-coronavirus, this wasn’t evident yesterday lunchtime while witnessing donations flooding my way….. Witnessing this generosity always going a long way towards regaining my faith in humanity.
Upon completing my voluntary stint, a friend asked about the differences I’d encountered collecting in today’s climate compared to eighteen months ago.
I responded the main change was being approached by benefactors in masks. After all, if an individual had’ve approached me in a mask pre-COVID my immediate thought would’ve possibly been I was about to be have my collection bucket stolen…… Which, just to clarify, hasn’t happened in the scores of previous voluntary stints GJ Strachan has undertaken. And is unlikely to; so don’t let that put you off volunteering. 😉
Seriously, though, yours truly ensured I complied with store edicts and wore a mask. This action also undertaken out of respect for contributors who may’ve coronavirus transmission concerns.
Sadly this did rob me of the opportunity to convey a visible smile in return for a donators kindness. That being said, my responses of “Thanks.”, “Thank you.” “I really appreciate that!” to each benefactor hopefully sufficed.
An additional difference I found in these prevailing time was, not unexpectedly, the MacMillan t-shirt I adorn during collections was significantly snugger around my midriff than pre-lockdown. As I didn’t know the individuals donating, I’ve no idea whether they’ve been similarly afflicted by post-March 2020 weight gain. And to be honest, I wasn’t inclined to raise the subject.
If it was in my locker to be rude to people, which I’d like to think it isn’t, I’d say making impertinent inquiries relating to a benefactors weight would have absolutely no positive benefit if/when seeking to maximise charitable donations……. Consequently, I stayed well clear of the subject.
Anyhow, I’m home now and this successful stint of voluntary work certainly raised my spirits, which’d taken a dint when after losing a £10 note from my pocket during the short walk up Albion Street from my taxi to the Boots store prior to collecting…… An episode which led me to conclude the adage ‘No good deed goes unpunished.’ does bear some basis in fact.
Oh, it was so good to once again experience the verve resultant of a stint with the collection bucket as a member of MacMillan’s green volunteer army. Hopefully my two hours will help the organisation as much financially as it did for my mental health.
I left Boots in Trinity Leeds shortly after 1pm, and even though the rain saved it’s arrival for my departure outdoors, there was a spring in my step as I headed down Albion Street in search of lunch.
Ah, it’s good to be back!