Making a difference
Nowadays it is likely that families ask for donations to a chosen charity, rather than funeral flowers. Sometimes this is because they’d prefer to see the money go to a good cause and often it’s due to the fact that their loved one had already asked for that to happen, because they had a charity close to their heart. Online figures report that more than £100 million a year is raised in the UK for charities through funeral donations.
If there isn’t an obvious charity to support, then very often the family will opt for a charity related to a health issue their loved one had experienced, feeling they are ‘giving something back’, supporting research into that particular illness. Sometimes families ask for money to be given to a local community organisation. Quite often, they might decide on two charities and either split the money donated equally or give family and friends the choice of which organisation to give to.
If a family has chosen a specific cause, then that charity might well have donation envelopes available to leave at the chapel or venue. One advantage of this is that the envelopes usually include a section to fill-in for Gift Aid purposes – which means the charity gets a little more value from that donation.
Alternatively, we can collect donations at the end of a funeral service and we’ve recently bought a new donation box for that purpose. We can look after the money – plus donations which might be dropped into our office during that time - and then send it direct to the selected charity.
More often though, people don’t carry cash with them like they used to – so we have made it possible for people to donate online via our website. This is quick and easy to do and secure too. There’s also a chance to tick the Gift Aid box as well. Again, it’s possible for families to chose more than one charity and the total amount collected can be reported back to them afterwards, so they can let people know.
Increasingly, raising money for charity in memory of a loved one goes on past the funeral. We have spoken with a number of families who have decided to organise a fundraiser afterwards or take part in a challenge to remember a loved one.
Hospice in the Weald – our local adult hospice – organises a number of ‘memory’ type events each year, with its Moonlight Walk on 9 June in Knole Park, Sevenoaks, being one such example. It’s described as a chance to ‘celebrate life and loved ones’.
The charity says that if you’re walking in memory of a loved one, there will be gold stars available on the night on which you can write your loved one’s name and a special dedication message. It can then be pinned on your t-shirt for the walk, before being added to a memory wall at the end, where there’s also a chance to light a candle.
Read more here.
Posted: 24th of May 2018