Why it’s worth checking out the Cambridge Charity fair
Overcome your hangover and saunter over to the guildhall
You wake up to the sound of birds singing sweetly outside your window. As you sip warm camomile tea and look out at the golden trees swaying in the morning breeze, your friendly neighbourhood rabbit family joyously pop up to dress you in your favourite silky gown. You look at the time – 11 am! Golly gosh it's time for the volunteer for Cambridge 2017 event! You take your dearest friend by the hand and skip to the Guildhall.
This is how wholesome of a person you could potentially become if you attend the charity fair today. BUT even if it doesn't turn you into an elegant disney character, going to an event full of great charities is honestly the best way to spend your Saturday afternoon (shameless advertising is okay in this situation). Don't go out of some kind of guilt, and don't do it just for the cv or for the potential profile picture with an African child. Do it because a buffet of do-gooding opportunities is an initiative that deserves a straight up ovation, and here's why.
Let's face it, Cambridge students and local resident's usually face off in a stale cold war, where Sainsbury's is the only true nuclear battleground. For all other purposes, we avoid each other by going out on different nights to different places, because god forbid the archaic "townie vs. gownie" (shudder) divide should ever loosen up.
The charity fair is for townies AND gownies. It is Switzerland. A neutral place where everyone just has the goal in common that they want to help out in the community. Most of the charities themselves help out locally as well, so you if you join you'll be chatting and helping people that aren't in the same eat/pray/cindies cycle as you. Jennifer Guan, a third year HSPS student from Pembroke puts it like this "it's not about transcending the town/gown divide, but about showing that there isn't one when it comes to volunteering". Hallelujah!
They are legit
There are a lot of charities out there which are low-key sketchy and doing more harm than good. Like when it turned out "Tom's" was stealing business from local shoemakers by making European kids wear douchy slippers. The great thing about the charity fair is that all the stalls represent charities that have already been checked for you, they are all non-profit and well-established, plus genuinely well-intended.
Do whatever you fancy
There is a large selection to choose from (more than 90 organisations will be present), and with all the eclectic mix of options, the hardest thing is to soul-search for what to choose. Personal favourites include the "Good Lad Initiative" (if you want to end gross rugby chants and locker room talk) or "Rowan" to help people with learning disabilities to be creative.
A bunch of charities are also dedicated to improving the live's of homeless people in Cambridge. Lily, the manager of Cambridge hub says that the remarkable thing about charity work nowadays is how diverse it is "you can volunteer from your computer at home, or in person as always, but it's so much more accessible than it used to be".
So yes this is an earnest plea to wake up and shake it up at the "volunteer for Cambridge 2017" fair in the Guildhall. Let's be honest, even your cold heart and packed schedule won't be able to resist.