Today’s post is from a lovely lady who I have mentioned on here before because she is such a warm and encouraging person, and has been a huge support for me during the time I’ve been blogging. It is the marvellous Michelle from Mummy from the Heart.
Blogging has changed the way I live my life!
That is quite a statement isn’t it? You might think that I’m exaggerating but I really have thought this through and truly, since I started blogging in 2008 I am a changed woman. The journey did start before this time but I can attribute blogging and the amazing people I have met though blogging as a real spur towards transforming my life as I know it.
If I start this story 20 years ago, I’ll tell you about a young girl who was at university. She was a bright girl who had a modest upbringing. Her family life had been great, she was surrounded by love and did not want for anything but money was always a struggle. Both her parents grew up in poverty and had done well to establish themselves in steady jobs, it was important to their self-worth to buy their own home and provide stability for their children. As such this girl did not learn about charity or sharing her riches with others, the philosophy taught was very much that charity starts at home and we do not need hand-outs from anyone.
Roll forwards a few years and the girl is now a woman about to get married and as part of the preparations she attends a Christian Alpha course with her husband-to-be and makes a commitment to follow Jesus. This was the start of the transformation; this is where I realised that there was so much more to life than just me and those I loved.
For me it is a biblical principle that I should be giving part of my wealth every month without fail, it started that we gave to church; it then moved on that we started to sponsor children abroad through Compassion. Slowly more and more of our monthly income went to help others, both locally and more globally. Don’t be fooled into thinking that we are big earners and have more money now than in earlier years though. We don’t, we just feel we have our priorities right nowadays.
But I’m not telling you this to make you feel guilty. I am a firm believer that we all do what feels right to us; I have no right to judge anyone. I am just sharing this with you to take you on my journey with me. In January 2010 I saw the first post about blogging for Good. English Mum had started an appeal for bloggers to come together to raise money to buy shelterboxes to help those effected by the devastating earthquake in Haiti. As we sponsor a child in Haiti this immediately spoke to me and I wanted to blog about it, so I did.
This first post opened something in me and from then posts started to tumble out but only for causes I was really passionate about and charities that I personally supported – Operation Christmas Child, Compassion, Samaritans Purse, Hope HIV and Save the Children. It was probably the Save the Children post that I wrote in September 2011, after attending a one day conference that really opened my eyes to what we, as bloggers could do. My inspirational friend Chris Mosler of Thinly Spread had travelled to the USA to attend the UN General Assembly in New York and @HelloItsGemma and I wanted to support her with a meme. It took off like I never could have imagined and in one weekend 164 bloggers had written and linked up posts and we had reached multi-millions of people on twitter. I could not believe that this ordinary girl from the Home Counties could help make that happen. We have power and a massive voice as bloggers.
It was this voice that meant the ONE Campaign sought me out earlier this year to see if I might like to become a #ONEMum for them. After investigations and conversations with credible friends like Chris, and Ruth from DorkyMum, I discovered they are a non-governmental organisation rather than a charity and that they are not affiliated to any political party or religion. Their aim is not to fundraise but to raise awareness and pressure political leaders to fight extreme poverty through smart and effective policies and programs. ONE work with many of the big humanitarian aid agencies and charities and are proud to partner with them.
I am completely humbled to be a #ONEMum and I can never express enough gratitude for the opportunity they gave me in October to travel to Ethiopia with them. I wrote extensively on my blog about my journey and the things I saw and learned while in Ethiopia. It is an experience I’ll never forget and one that again opened my eyes and made me realise how much of a difference one person can make. As I say in the video which is at the end of this post, we all need to come together with one voice. When we do who knows what will happen but it will certainly be awesome that is for sure!
It seems funny when I think back to who I was even ten years ago, never would I imagine that every single week I would give my time and energy to be an advocate and to campaign. I think I can actually call myself an activist now and this seriously makes me laugh, who would ever have thought? Not me that’s for sure.
What about you, have you been bitten by the blogging for good bug?