I'm really am very proud of some of the work Teesside Charity and CEO Sleepout charity have done so far - but they can definitely do a lot more. Clearly their activities haven't changed the world or even changed a town - but they have led to some good things happening. Going forward they can do a lot more good work and will genuinely be able to change some people's lives for the better and make a difference to their families and loved ones.
One of the great things about helping others is what it does for you personally: I definitely get to feeling that I've done something worthwhile and that my life has true meaning. Another great aspect about helping others is the heartfelt thanks and support which often comes from people who've been helped or others who've observed the work. Sometimes though negative feedback arrives!
Ocassionally - very ocassionally I see posts on social media which are critical of these and other charities. For example the critics sometimes suggest that executives who partake in CEO Sleepout events have it too easy and that the sleepouts should take place in the harshest possible conditions. The critics think that there's no point in doing what we do unless the volunteer participants endure thoroughly awful conditions. In some ways I can half understand those criticisms - certainly participants in our sleepouts aren't actually homeless and always finish our events by driving home to a warm shower. But that's not the point of our events!
The purpose of our sleepouts is to make some good things happen. In particular we have three goals:
I'm really happy to say that our events meet all three of those goals - so we're going to continue and do even more.
I've found that throughout one's life critics will always appear and try to deflate good will and hard work - I don't know why they do it! But I do know that being critical is very easy. Being confident, on the other hand, and making positive changes happen is much more difficult. Making positive changes happen is also a lot more rewarding.
So that's what these charities will keep on doing: making positive changes.
Thanks for reading.