My last post referenced an article in our local paper which had a comment left on it from someone who had disobeyed my mothers command of "If you can't say anything nice, say nothing."
One of the remarks that the Unhappy Commentator made was about how people shouldn't help Scotty's Little Soldiers as the number of children it supports is so small. She wanted to know who chose the children, and claimed the charity was elitist.
Well, depending on your point of view, either God or fate chooses the children. The boy-child will tell you "There's only one way into Scotty's."
He'll also tell you "Scotty's is the best club in the world, but it's a club nobody wants to join." He's right about that as well.
She queried the small number of children that the charity helped. It's not as small a number as it should be. It should be zero. No child should be waking up without a parent because they've died whilst serving in the Armed Forces. No child should be looking at losing everything they know on top of all the stress that goes with losing a parent. No mother should be thankful to the charity of strangers for putting a smile on their child's face.
And yet I am.
I am deeply thankful that the upcoming Scotty's World Record Rugby Attempt for which the boy child is being a mascot is giving him something to look forward to. He's struggling on snow days with the days of making snowmen with Rich and the memories of ambushing me with snow down the back of my neck whilst I was in the kitchen. Right now I can wriggle him out of it by talking about the lads rugby training in the snow, or tell him that the amazing @scottysrugby has posted another update.
I am deeply thankful for every envelope with a Scotty sticker on it, every parcel, every article in the paper, every single thing. I am joyously grateful to every stranger who has ever put a pound in a charity box, or been sponsored, or done anything to give money to help children like my son.
It is elitist - in the same way that every charity is elitist, for a reason. Elitist means that a few people benefit. If everyone had the same thing, then it would be supported by the government. If we all got cancer as a matter of course, then there would be no need to raise money for cancer research - there would be things in place already. There would be no need to raise money to send children aboard for treatment, or for hospices to support the dying, or the rarer versions of cancer that no-one except the sufferer and their family and friends has ever heard of. It would all be dealt with. It isn't, because it's not the norm. That's why we have charities - to support things which are not normal.
My son is supported by Scotty's because what he has been through is not the norm. If Scotty's didn't support him, then he wouldn't be the child he is now. If hard working volunteers didn't donate their time, then he wouldn't be the child he is now. If amazing people didn't raise money for Scotty's, then it wouldn't be the charity it is, and he wouldn't be the child he is now. For more about what Scotty's has done for the boy, look here.
Scotty's Little Soldiers has changed his life. It's changed our lives. He believes in something again, and he believes in Scotty's, and if that makes me part of the elite, then I'm fine with that. Not wishing to be rude, but I'd like to keep the membership of Scotty's as small as possible, because that means that the number of children who are making snowmen with their Armed Forces parent is as big as possible.
It's a beautiful pre-accident smile. Scotty's is helping to put it back. Thankyou, everyone.