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I would never have left corporate life if I had not become a mother. And what a privilege it is to have healthy, happy, growing children. (You should hear the cherubs sing Christmas carols – a delight).

I was reading an article in Inc. about when should a company start getting involved with philanthropy. The author argued, “Lead by example. It’s up to you to convey the importance of giving back.” I think it is also important to understand what is important to your people. What they are passionate about and also support them in their out of hours endeavours.

In the early days, we did not have two cents to rub together, but we have supported hundreds of organisations with their fundraising. Supporting the community is not just about the money. In fact, a friend of mine who was marketing director of a very large charitable organisation said: “one of the things that we need the most is people to donate their time and expertise”.

Thinking about what we have at RedBalloon and what we are passionate about? we looked for what we could do to support a like-minded organisation. We may not have a lot of money, but what we do have are a customer community, a technology platform and marketing expertise.

I cannot imagine the circumstances of having a seriously ill child, the impact on the family and siblings. The desperation of not knowing from one day to the next what you will have to deal with.

Leah joined our marketing team more than two years ago and even before she came to us she had been so very committed to the work of the Starlight Foundation. Starting work at 7.00am so that she can get off to be with the children…to do her bit. She gives her love, her precious time and her passion.

It is with great deliberation that we include Starlight in our Christmas offering this year. Not just by making ‘donations’ but making what we do available to the families supported by Starlight.

We are in the business of pleasure and if we can provide just a little bit of pleasure to the families of seriously ill children through the Starlight Foundation, we are one step closer to achieving what we were put here to do.

There is so much that we can do. Children are our future….it’s time to give.

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