(photo of Alan Moore by the Northampton Chronicle & Echo)
Hard winter weather, strikes, protests, foreign wars, economic disaster after disaster… But for once here’s something to smile about in the newspapers. In the Northampton Chronicle & Echo newspaper, to be precise, which covers the beat in the manor of a certain, highly regarded gentleman of letters. We know that Alan Moore believes in his own community and that he’s noted for taking part in events to help in his local area, but for the festive season the great bearded magus has donated 300 hampers from his local Co-op to residents in sheltered houses and a homeless drop-in centre at the Salvation Army.
“Those people who are living in sheltered housing and those going to the Salvation Army, who often don’t have homes, are living in very difficult circumstances and I think that any sign that they have been remembered and not forgotten is going to mean something to them. It’s not a lot that we are giving and it won’t sort out their lives, but at this time of year a lot of people get blue and I think this might be a little boost for them,” Alan Moore quoted in the Northampton Chronicle & Echo.
That’s a very generous and touching action by Alan and I noticed Leah Moore on Facebook (whence came the link) saying she was proud of her dad (and rightly so). And it’s a nice reminder that regardless of relgious belief (or lack thereof) it is moving into the season when we’re supposed to think more about others. We can’t all make the same lovely gesture as Alan, but there’s always something – maybe among your present buying this year you could slip in a couple of gifts from the likes of Oxfam or similar charities, who as well as actual physical gifts you can purchase and have sent to your loved ones also do gifting in kind, where you pay for items needed in their relief work, be it school books for kids in the developing world, water purification systems, all sorts, and send a card to your loved ones to tell them that this gift of help has been given in their name. A lot of the charities operate similar schemes, if a big chunk of us all bought at least one or two of our Christmas gift list from them then we’d make a nice little difference in the world too. Worth thinking about.