Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Why Medecins sans Frontieres?

I have admired MSF form a distance for some years and have made sporadic donations.
Through the internet I have followed their great work in combatting Ebola.

I like to know who I am dealing with, whether it is a Bank or a supplier, a professional or a charity. |I am of a generation who likes to see the other party face to face rather than transact business via an impersonal e mail.

After doing extensive research on the net I decided to drop into the MSF offices in Dublin yesterday, a rainy Tuesday that had seen our monthly Wicklow walk called off due to the inclement weather. I parked the car in Fitzwilliam Square and went searching for MSF in 9-11 Lower Baggot Street. I quickly discovered my mistake. I had to turn round and head for 9-11 UPPER Baggot Street in the rain.

Sharing a building above a cafĂ© with architects and hairdressers was the MSF Irish office. I arrived during lunch hour and without an appointment. Through all my years in business I liked the opportunity to meet people as they are.

I explained my purpose and a young lady kindly listened to me for a minute or two while her colleague arrived who was involved in fundraising.  She listened carefully and positively to my plans. She came up with good suggestions and gave me materials for my proposed sponsored walk (which then became a 'family' walk) including tee shirts, leaflets and most importantly balloons.

She gave me as much time as I needed. Only when leaving she explained that she was covering for a colleague who was out of the office. This is the kind of spirit that attracts me. 24 hours later I am reading about a man who died upon discharge from a hospital in Port Laois and two off duty doctors found themselves unable to leave their lunch to attend to him. It sure is a funny old world!

Lorraine and I are committed to raising €5,000 specifically for Ebola. MSF unusually don't allow specific targeting of donations but in this case they will. We will also give to other Irish aid agencies including Goal whom I visited earlier in the day.

It's always the little things that make the difference. Its the friendly voice of the receptionist, the willingness to meet during lunch, the offer of walking the extra mile. It seems to me, the organisations that get the small things right get the big ones right too.

I am delighted and honoured to be partnering with MSF in the effort to help the helpers.

Post Script. After this is finished and hopefully we will start winning the battle before the end of the year I hope to make arrangements to support them into the future.

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