BCFC: Charity and Engagement

Anyone monitoring Birmingham City’s social media feeds in the last few months can’t help but notice the amount of work the club is currently doing in the community. From delivering surprises to children and food to the homeless, to planting trees in remembrance of those that have fallen, Blues players and Garry Monk have been actively showing that they care about stuff off the pitch as much as on it.

Birmingham City FC

I have to be honest and upfront here. When it comes to charity, I’m not a huge fan of making big waves about what a person has given or done.

Although I’m willing to accept there is no such thing as true altruism, I have always believed that charity is something that should be done privately and without fanfare.

As such, I will admit that I’ve felt uneasy at times about seeing Blues publicise so much of the club’s charity work.

However, charity is much more than the giving of time and money to a cause.

I asked on Facebook last week how people felt about Blues’ recent charity work – and, more importantly whether it inspired them to want to do something themselves.

While I expected people to say that they thought it was great what Blues are doing, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there are fans who have taken note of what the club has done and who are looking at what they can do to get involved.

As was pointed out to me by someone a little bit older and wiser, the true value of the charity work that Blues are doing isn’t in the actual giving of time and money, but in the publicising that problems exist that we can help with.

For example, while anyone who works or spends time regularly in the city centre of Birmingham will know there is a massive problem with people being forced to live on the streets, how many people actually know how to help improve the situation?

If Blues can inspire people through their actions to be actively involved in their communities working with those less fortunate, then every photo opportunity published on social media is another nudge to fans who want to help but aren’t sure how they can.

Moreover, if Blues do inspire people through their actions, then that really is engagement of fans at a level that far transcends football.

I will admit that I am a cynic; but I believe that even if just a small percentage of people who view these posts get involved, the good that it will do our community and the city of Birmingham itself will be incalculable.

While the results on the pitch have been great and the football has been enjoyable, I’m truly hopeful that some of the work off it will be more far-reaching and longer lasting.

More importantly, I believe that everyone who has been involved in making this happen deserves all the plaudits that they are given.

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