4020 seconds aka 67 minutes ..... is it enough?

4020 seconds.  Literally the whole country raced to do good for 4020 seconds last week.  For those of you battling …. I am referring to the world renowned 67 minutes for Mandela.

Am I a fan of his? Yes.  Am I a fan of the 67 minute idea? Mostly.  Why only mostly?  Simple – I work for an NPO.

An NPO that looks after mentally disabled adults and many of those are adult orphans of all ages.  And they are completely cared for by us.  The financial responsibility falls to us and our generous donors.  But for most of our precious people, charity is not just money, not just how they are financially taken care of …… to many or almost all of these spectacularly special people it is about love ….. and attention …….. the visitors who spend time with them, read to them, paint their nails, entertain them, treat and spoil them, bring them a little something, share a little something with them, take a few of them on an outing etc etc.  TIME. 

And therein lies my “mostly” answer.  Now don’t get me wrong …… we have DROVES of people, volunteers, visitors, loving, warm-hearted and kind people, donors, lay people and more that do all the things I described in paragraph 3….. and much more.  I am not saying it does not happen, it does ……… but I am questioning the sanity of an entire country rushing out on ONE day to give their 67 minutes of caring.  What about the other 351 days of the year?  And I am mostly referring to the millions of people for whom those 67 minutes on that one day is their total “caring” contribution for the year.  And I mean hands on caring, not financial caring and support.

Is that meaningful enough?  Is that a genuine commitment to any NPO, shelter, home, charity organisation, orphanage, rural school and so on and so on?  I listen to people around me clambering for ideas on where to go and what to do, behaving as if they are deeply and morally inclined to care for those less fortunate.  It is a last minute morning rush for some …… “oh hell it is the day …. where to spend my 67 mins” and so to ease their conscience, many people simply go anywhere and do anything without even knowing what that organisation does, or for whom. 

Would it not be better if they rather used the 67 mins to do some meaningful research on the organisation, home, shelter, whatever and then set aside 67 mins a week, or 67 mins a month, on a regular basis to do their charity work by finding out what any specific organisation’s real ongoing needs are.  

There are so many organisations in the country that are struggling, so many street children and adults, starving to death as the Government looks on, homeless people living in filth and desperation (as the Government looks on), so many orphans, mentally and physically disabled persons, poor half-finished schools, charities …. the list is endless ……… desperate for help …… not just with their precious people, but in many cases for hands on assistance with repairs, maintenance, painting, erection of simple buildings, gardens and on and on.  These organisations are becoming more and more reliant on the generosity of donors and kindness of the public as other kinds of more formal funding become more and more of a challenge to find.

So come on …….. how did I spend my 67 mins?  Well frankly I spent it split between prayer and researching donors for the NPO …….. I am recovering from an accident and could not spend it at my office at the NPO for which I am the Business Development Manager…….. but you see …… due to the nature of my job ….. I give those 67 minutes, several times over, every day of my life.

Why don’t you consider giving YOUR 67 mins …… just once every month?

till next time,
c’est la vie xxx

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