MS Trust CEO David Martin spent an afternoon volunteering in one of the Cards for Good Causes pop-up shops. “I loved seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they bought ours and other charity cards to send Christmas wishes round the world,” he writes in his latest blog.
Are Christmas Cards still relevant in 2019?
As the world becomes more and more digital, it’s a question we increasingly ask ourselves at the MS Trust.
And at the moment, the answer has got to be yes because our Christmas card sales are still on the rise. And those sales are helping to fund a large chunk of our Enquiry Service, so what’s not to like?
But rather than crunch the numbers, I thought there would be no better way than to see for myself (and get myself in the Christmas spirit) by volunteering for an afternoon in one of the Christmas Card pop up shops that we are involved with, run by Cards for Good Causes.
So earlier this week, I volunteered at the Cambridge shop. Well, I say shop, but from October to December it’s a pop-up part of the Tourist Information Centre in the heart of historic Cambridge. And if that isn’t quirky enough, the room we are in actually used to be part of the Cambridge Court.
There are racks and racks of Christmas cards raising money for lots of good causes – there are traditional ones, which seemed to be more popular than ever, and some funny ones, which seemed to be liked by some of the younger customers.
The shop couldn’t operate without the many volunteers who generously give their time and their smiles. And volunteer Janet soon had me on the straight and narrow. I felt particularly pleased to be ringing through the till some of the MS Trust cards that are particularly popular this year – My Carrot and Santa’s Bookshelf. I loved seeing them being chosen over hundreds of other designs, especially after I had been in the meeting many months ago when our expert Claire had ensured that these super designs were part of our 2019 portfolio.
Manager Debi was super friendly. Well she was until she sent me to jail. One of my jobs as a volunteer was to re-stock the shelves. And as the stores were kept in a former cell in the basement of the historic building, I got to experience jail for the first time. The joy of volunteering!
I work for the MS Trust because I want to make a difference. But I particularly loved being at the coalface, and seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they bought ours and other charity cards to send Christmas wishes round the world and raise money for a good cause at the same time.
I loved my volunteering experience at the Christmas card shop. I’m sure I had a smile like a Cheshire cat on my face as I got the bus home. But then a song sprung to mind. And it wasn’t a Christmas song. It was the “Circle of Life.”
Why? Because when the MS Trust was founded by Chris and Jill 26 years ago, they first funded the charity by selling Christmas cards. And after my Cambridge experience, I can vouch for the fact that Christmas cards are still helping us make a difference all these years later. Happy Christmas.
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