You may be asking yourself "Why does she have a donation page and buttons on the side bar"? That is a good question.
When I first began blogging it was because I wanted to plan (and complete) a "Road trip". Having been screwed over left, right and centre (totally my own fault for being too trusting of people) I found myself without the funds to pay for such a trip - at the time I didn't even have the funds to pay my own bills (still don't). I have to live with my elderly mother because I don't earn enough to pay rent (even on a dodgy one room bedsit) but I come from a family who believe in working hard to support yourself, so I have never (in the 31 years since I left school) claimed a penny in any kind of government benefits. I have also never been out of work since the day I left school, and in the past 10 years have taken only 1 week off each year.
I've tried to make a career out of my chosen profession (I am a florist) and a few years back a good friend of mine loaned me some money to start up on my own. I did so just before the country crashed and went into a recession (my timing could not have been worse). My business is worth nothing on paper so could not be sold, and while I could just 'call-it-quits' and fold the company, that would mean the friend who was so kind to help me start-up in the first place would never get back what he has put in, so I keep plodding away, working 80 hour weeks, to try and make a success of things, for his sake, as well as for mine. I have no partner (haven't done for 16 years) so I do everything on my own, without the help and support of anyone else. Practically every penny the shop takes has to go back into the business, so there are some months when I find myself without any kind of wages at all. I did once look into whether I could claim government benefits (I know of many business owners who claim working tax credits, housing benefit and other such thing) but it would appear I am "too honest" when it comes to filling in forms and I was offered just £14.86 per year. Obviously I turned it down.
I got myself into this, so I always believed I should get myself out of it. Then one day I came across a fund raising site set-up specifically to help people travel. The people visiting the site, willing to donate their hard-earned-money, were doing so with the specific intention of helping people to live out their dreams and visit the destinations they crave to see, so I swallowed my pride, signed up and got a page running. I then decided to get the word "out there" I would need social media help too, so set up this blog (and a couple of others) which all run alongside their own independent social media pages. I've been lucky enough to raise some small amount in donations.
That now though, has had to go on hold, for 3 weeks ago my dog was taken poorly. Since the day I got her she has been insured; I made a point of going without for myself to ensure her policy was kept up-to-date, taking out the best I could find. I believe if you take on a pet you do everything you possibly can to ensure that animal lives a long, full and happy life. Imagine my shock when I found that the insurance, who I have paid on the day of receiving their invoices for 10 years, have refused to pay because they believe the specialist my vet referred me to is charging too much. As they never gave me a list of "Approved Vets" when I took out their policy, I chose the very best and have had to allow them to guide me in the best way forward for my dog to be treated. Because of this any thoughts of travel have gone out of the window (the money people have been kind enough to donate for the trip is (and will stay) in the account I set up to keep funds in; those people have donated for a trip, not a dog) however, due to the large vet bills I now have rolling in on a daily basis, my donation pages have become about paying those vet bills, and instead of asking specific travel related funders for help, I have found myself in the position of asking anybody, anywhere, to help keep my dog alive (her illness is not life threatening right now and she is treatable).
Now you know why there is a donation button.