Yesterday, I took part on a sponsored walk from my school all the way to Hyde Park and, because taking the tube (subway) was considered cheating, back again. All dressed in red and white we marched down the pavements, taking up more space than our instructed half, carrying a massive banner and armed with collection buckets.We started off cheerful and chanting a rhyme that I had ingeniously created in the tune of the Bob the Builder theme tune:
Save the Children
Can we do it?
Save the Children
Yes we can!
Then voices got sore, students got bored and a half-hearted ‘Save the children?’ was all they had to give as they held out their buckets.
It may or may not say something about the type of vibes I give off my person, but I received very few donations. A grand total of two people approached my silently swinging bucket and I was overjoyed each time. The worst thing is when you see them reaching out into their purse, you stop because they seem to be taking their time and then you realise that it’s not for you. My friend cheekily told one man who regretfully told her that he had no loose change that we accepted notes and I jokingly adopted the slogan ‘every tenner (£10) counts’.
Despite our efforts, most of the buckets remained empty, with passers-by simply passing by without the opening of any purses or the reaching into any pockets, until we reached Regents Park Mosque and kind strangers would slip in handfuls of twenty pound notes before we could even turn around and say thank-you. It would seem that the recession is hitting people as hard as the wind was blowing.
Unless you live down under, December is not the right time of year to go for a walk. I wore plentiful layers and snatched a pair of gloves from a little Year 8 that was complaining that they made no difference, but still my toes and fingers felt like icicles. At one point, my jaw froze in place and my friends had a jolly good laugh as I painfully spoke in a constant smile, like a woman with Botox. Fortunately, we missed the rain by a few seconds; it started to rain as soon as we returned to school, numb and aching at the same time.
I’m complaining now, but would I do it again? Probably. Maybe in the summer, although I suppose I would then complain about the heat. I just have to remember all the millions of children that have to walk more than twice our distance, until their bare feet bleed in protest, to realise that the little I do is for a good cause because…