A Year of Love


I couldn’t let today pass without writing a post about love. Perhaps disappointingly though this isn’t about how much I love my husband (a lot) or how I find it a bit odd that I received a valentines card from my daughter. Or even about the commercialisation of a day about love and how people love to hate it or love it or just don’t care. It’s not even about how much I love an excuse to drink prosecco. No, this is about the love I have experienced and been able to share in the last year.

It’s one year exactly since I received the first funding I had applied for to start a charity to help families in my town. I quickly made a website and set about working out how I could turn my idea into reality. The idea is pretty simple – collect donated baby and toddler clothes, toys, furniture and equipment from people who no longer need it and give it to people who really need do.

It has been hard, incredibly hard, work. First Days has grown and grown and grown and this weekend we are moving into new premises so we can support more families. I have big, big dreams and ambitions for First Days. It’s such a cliche, but the hard work is completely worth it. Showing people unconditional love, in a practical way which really helps their family, is priceless. To me, it is what life is about. Sharing love with complete strangers is what makes the world go round. I don’t really know what I believe about God or religion or faith or anything but I love the end of Les Miserables when Fantine, Eponine and Jean Val Jean sing together ‘remember the truth that once was spoken: to love another person is the see the face of God’. I love that love is bigger than we are as individuals – love can bind people together in a deep way. It’s the deeper magic.

We have collected over five tonnes of donations, from individuals and businesses, and helped over 150 families so far with the big and small. A couple of families stand out in my mind. One was a family who lived, all five of them, in one room. The children were just lovely and I delivered a van full of things that they desperately needed. As we were carrying it in to the house the mother was crying, she said she couldn’t understand how people could be so kind to strangers. I was heartbroken though. There were so many problems that we couldn’t solve for them – but at least their children had beds, some clothes and shoes and toys. I hope they remember the love I showed them through First Days.

Another family had a little baby who was very ill in hospital – illness that was probably caused by the damp conditions in her home. When this family was referred to First Days it became clear that they needed a mattress for the baby to sleep on in a cot we could deliver, they had been rehoused and couldn’t take any of their furniture with them as it was all ruined by mould. We don’t pass on old mattresses though so I was a bit stuck. They needed it that day. I turned to twitter and two people who I have never met, are not local, and obviously did not know this family donated the money to buy a mattress, sheets and blankets. Their love and generosity enabled First Days to give a baby a safe bed.

That’s the kind of love I want to celebrate. Every day.

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21 Responses to A Year of Love

  1. That’s really lovely, thank you for sharing. I will have a look at your site later, see if I can donate some bits I have xx

  2. Well done for making a difference to peoples lives.

  3. winegumsx says:

    Such a fabulous post, would love to do something like that one day x

  4. Mumaleary says:

    I’d like to re log this if that’s ok with you? I absolutely love this. Well done. XxxxX amazing work.

  5. What a heart-warming post! Well done on such a fabulously successful and worth-while project. You deserve a large box of chocs and a decent bottle of wine at the very least… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. That’s a great post. It must feel so rewarding working for a charity. It’s nice to know that people go out of their way to be nice too.

  7. globalmouse says:

    Wow, what a lovely post and it’s so true – there’s a lot of love around and it’s really nice to be able to celebrate that!

  8. That is such a heart-warming post. All the very best for the future.

  9. Wow what a fantastic thing to do, I love it!

  10. Wow you have done a really amazing thing! It must be lovely to be able to help people in such a practical way. I tried to donate one of Baby’s old toys (excellent condition, hardly played with) at Xmas but no-one round here would take any 2nd hand toys ๐Ÿ˜ฆ x

  11. Mummy of Two says:

    What an amazing thing to be doing! It sounds like you have had a great year and I hope 2014 is just as successful.

  12. Such a brilliant thing to do ๐Ÿ™‚ I love hearing about stuff like this so thank you for sharing x

  13. steph says:

    What a beautiful, heartwarming post. You should be very proud, Emma. What you’ve achieved is inspirational. xxx

  14. Kara says:

    So heartwarming to know that there are people out there that want to help those under hardship

  15. This is amazing what you are doing. I often want to pass things onto other people that need it but have no way of doing so. We gave to the Foodbank at Christmas and it felt very good to be able to do so and we will drop another parcel off this month. There is nothing better than helping other people and I like you I have no particular beliefs on God but I like to think that you can’t go wrong by spreading happiness and love in the world. x

  16. Sounds like a brilliant charity and shows that when people work together they can produce everyday miracles that can change peoples lives. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. anna says:

    lovely post. It’s a great charity you’re running, I would rather give to something like this rather than just to the charity shop as then you are more sure its going to a good home?

  18. What a great work you are doing!
    We could do the same in Beds… so many families in need and so much things go to waste.

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