Make a Difference, pick your cause.

This weekend is Make a Difference Day - a celebration of community volunteers and charity efforts.

We all have our favourite charities, a cause we support. We've been talking charities a lot recently, with the change in CJS support.

The CJS Team have their own personal favourites, here are just a few. 

For KH it's the Animal Health Trust, a little known charity doing some amazing work in the area of animal health and medicine. 
"The Animal Health Trust exists to fight disease and injury in animals. Thanks to our pioneering work improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention, horses, dogs and cats are living healthier, happier lives – in the UK and across the world."  My labs have taken part in some of their health studies by donating their DNA.  It's not a fluffy look after the little cute & cuddly animals, these are vets, researchers and animal health specialists looking after animals with complex problems and using their knowledge to further research some life altering / ending conditions with the aim of eradicating some diseases or at least making their treatment easier and more effective. Why is AHT my chosen cause? Because for various reasons mankind has done some awful things to our companion animals, some by accident, some on purpose without understanding the implications (eg breeding dogs for bigger / flatter heads).  I'd like our companion animals to be sound and healthy and if we can prevent that by having simple tests to check for life-altering conditions and thereby be responsible breeders. After having had a dog with a newly discovered fatal condition and fought with him for over a year I'd like other owners not to have to go through what we did - although I supported AHT long before Finn became ill. (You can read about Finn on Hebe's blog here)

For CL it's charity begins at home, supporting our local hospice: Saint Catherine’s Hospice which is very close to our hearts as my grandad spent his last month there in 2011 and the staff were amazing. Find and support your local hospice here. Also the Snowdrop Appeal at Scarborough Hospital run by York Hospitals Charity, they support parents after miscarriage and stillbirth, my friend maintains that these ladies are how she coped when she lost her daughter at 37 weeks pregnant.  But cute gets a look in too, "On a larger scale, Guide Dogs for the Blind, because we love puppies & sponsor one every Christmas as part of my dad’s xmas box :)"

Guide Dogs for the Blind, is the chosen charity for CMH as well. We supported GD when they opened a local support group but like CL it was for the puppies; however a couple of years ago I went to a meet and greet function and met some wonderful people who explained that the charity is about people and not dogs (although you can't get away from the fact that they are cute) and, if you'll pardon the pun, opened my eyes to what a life changing thing it is to have a guide dog. They allow a blind or partially sighted person the freedom of independence that most of us take for granted.  They not just about the dogs either: "We provide mobility and freedom to blind and partially sighted people. We also campaign for the rights of people with visual impairment, educate the public about eye care and fund eye disease research."

AW is another dog related cause: Retired Greyhound Trust
I always had retired greyhounds as a child and would love to have one now but my husband doesn't think it's a good idea because he wouldn't trust a rescue dog with our children and it would be liable to try and kill, if not kill our cat then the pigeons, hens and geese. Also some rescue dogs have been through such horrible experiences that it takes a lot of care and time to make them trust again, time is something I don't have to spare*. So I give to the charity because I can't give myself.

Which is your favourite cause? Let us know and you never know we might pick it for our next 'featured charity'.

*When I asked her for her favourite charity and why her response was "I haven't got time for this!" but then she wrote this lovely little piece.