Gentle reader: I would like to ask you please to consider a donation to Save the Children.
You have seen the heart-rending images and heard the awful stories of refugees from Syria and elsewhere. I have been deeply impressed by the groundswell of effort, action and giving inspired by what we have all seen over these past few days and weeks. People all over the UK, from all walks of life, are doing whatever they can to help people they’ve never met.
I was on holiday and off social media (or, if you will, away from the rectangles) last week. But I was fully aware of the beautiful wave of charitable activity sweeping the nation. A disused former cafe in the Cornish town in which we were staying was the designated collection point for donations of food, clothing and camping gear for the Syrian refugees. My heart swells to be able to report that donations so overflowed the cafe premises as to take over entirely the pavement outside.
This time away from the rectangles means I am very late to learn of the truly amazing #billablehour campaign initiated by one of my favourite Twitter friends (although I’ve somehow still yet to meet him in real life), the right hon’able Sean Jones*.
Now, I have to confess that when I first read it, I thought that “£174K” was a typo. Silly me, I should have realised Anya does not make mistakes like that.
Zero to do with me
The #billablehour campaign invites members of the legal profession to donate their fee for one billable hour. This is ingenious. And I doff my hat to what has been achieved. As Sean explained to the Guardian:
“My view has always been that lawyers are a lot more generous than people give them credit for, but nevertheless, it has felt like the tide coming in. It’s been extraordinary and I’m very proud of the people I work with, frankly. People have been very nice about me setting up a website, but that’s literally all I did. Everything else has got zero to do with me and everything to do with that sense that – finally – there’s something I can do practically.”
Sean launched his #billablehour justgiving page just over a week ago, with a target donation level of £7,500. As I write this, the total stands at £174,350.95. No, that is not a typo.
I would love it if you were to consider donating to the #billablehour campaign (and no, you don’t have to be a part of the legal world to participate – they let me donate, for Cliff’s sake!). Click here to make a #billablehour donation.
Like Sean says, it’s amazing what people can do.
* Sean Jones is quite probably the wittiest person I’ve encountered during my time on Twitter. He authored what I consider to be the funniest tweet I have ever read, some years back. But damned if I can find it! I will keep searching, and will update this post if I can ever actually track it down. And if you’re a Twitter type, you could do significantly worse than to follow Sean Jones.