Give a little – It will help a lot

For years this slogan, "Give a little, it would help a lot" has been on posters and radio and television adverts and at different times of year it wase seen and heard more often than at other times. In my memory, one of the times was Christmas, and even though I mightn't have seen or heard it for several years, I was reminded of it last evening.
Nowadays there's a lot of talk of secularism and the loss of spirituality in society, people may have turned away from the church for a variety of reasons, but they still have a lot of love and giving in their hearts.
This was driven home to me as I went to my local blood clinic to make a donation. It had been over a year since I last gave blood, for no particularly good reason, probably the time they were in the area didn't suit me or maybe I didn't know about it, however I was made aware of their being in the area this time, so no excuses.
The clinic in Midleton was scheduled to begin at 5pm, so I decided I'd get in early and avoid the crowds, however as I walked through the doors, I saw at least 20 people in front of me who all had exactly the same idea.

For a moment my heart sunk, but then I copped on and saw how brilliant this was. On a dark November evening a crowd of volunteers had gathered to donate their blood to help save someone else's life, and I was fortunate and privileged to be able to do do this. I joined the queue, and there was banter and talk of the weather and the queue, all in good spirits, and once the queue started moving, it progressed quickly. All the while people were joining the queue, arriving after busy days at work, and still willing to take the time to give of themselves in the most literal and practical of ways.
At each stage of the process from check-in to blood test, to transfusion to refreshments, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service Personnel were genuinely thankful to all of us for making the effort.
As I left the blood centre, walking into the wind and rain, I was energised by the amount of goodness that exists in society. Much of the time, we only hear bad news in the media, however there is plenty of goodness and love and good people all around us everyday. People doing good and not broadcasting it.  I fully understand that not everyone is in a position to give blood for a variety of very valid reasons, and I'm sure they have their own ways of giving, quietly, just as the blood donors I encountered in Midleton last evening.
Our Men's shed is a little bit like this, men getting together in a safe environment to help each other. Through chatting and working on projects we build self confidence, learn new skills and with the synergies created from combining life experience and wisdom, we can help each other to acquire the knowledge to improve mental wellness and in doing so improve all of our lives in small or not so small ways.

International Men’s Day 2018

On Monday November 19th, International Men's Day was celebrated around the world... apparently,  I came across it almost by accident on social media,and I only heard a single mention of it in the mainstream media, from a guest on Brendan O'Connor's television programme on Wednesday November 21st, two days after the event.

The objectives of International Men's Day are as follows:

  • To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men but every day, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
  • To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
  • To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
  • To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law
  • To improve gender relations and promote gender equality
  • To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.

I have to say I've never heard of International Men's Day before this week, but as a member of Midleton Men's Shed, I see a lot of commonality between the aims of our shed and the objectives above, and the absolute importance of celebrating this day.

I will be discussing this with my fellow shedders at our next meeting to ensure we organise an event next year to celebrate this most important day.

New weekly column in the East Cork Journal

We are very thankful to the East Cork Journal for the opportunity to have a 'Midleton Men's Shed Weekly News' published in this popular regional newspaper.  The first article was published on Thursday November 15th.
The column gives us a chance to let the people of Midleton and surrounds know what us 'shedders' are doing, in terms of local projects or progress with our shed or any other nuggets of wisdom we can pass on that might be of benefit locally.