As the counter ticks away on our 2013 Hero Project site and the number of volunteers goes up, it confirms something we’ve always known: that tradesmen really do make the best Santas.
The world is divided into those that make and those that don’t – and the makers have the edge in the ‘giving’ market. How much better is it to get a present that’s been homemade and to a high standard? It costs less, it’s bespoke and it’s often far better quality than anything you could buy off the shelf.
My Dad carved me a pair of mahogany stilts when was I eight and while other presents came and went – even the stilts themselves have been long-lost – that present has stuck in my memory. Beautiful, practical and made with enormous amount of thought, love and care.
So that’s where our tradesmen have the edge. They have a skill they can share to make other people happy and their lives a bit better. How many of us can drive around any town or city in the UK and point out what we have done for the people living there? Builders can.
I’m not denigrating charity fun runs or fundraising at local fêtes as acts of charity. They have their place - but when a tradesman wants to help someone out, well, all he or she has to do is pick up his or her tools and go. No organising committee. No months of preparation. Just a lifetime’s learned skills, a good deal of nous and a person in need. There’s something else that makes the tradesman special and that’s the fact that his workspace is right in the centre of your life: he or she doesn’t just magically pop in and out like Santa down the chimney. The tradesman is there, in amongst the mess and muddle of family life, by your ‘hearth’. When your teenage daughter throws a hissy fit, or your husband is berating you over lost car keys, the tradesman won’t show it but he’ll have heard it – and he’s the soul of discretion. But when we asked if MyBuilder tradesmen could help out needy homeowners, the answer was loud and clear. This year's Hero Project only went live at at 6pm yesterday and in less than 24 hours we’ve arranged over £4,000 worth of building work that will go a long way to making things better for people struggling this Christmas. So if you know someone in need or you’re a big-hearted tradesman who wants to volunteer, join the 2013 Hero Project now and help show everyone what we already know here - that tradesmen really are the best kind of Santa!