Re: Winter 2013/14 - Page 86

Charity Charlie When teenager Charlie Doherty was just four years old, he made a life-changing decision - that he was going to sacrifice his birthday presents, instead asking for money to be donated for charity. The reason was he had seen the devastating effects of the 2004 tsunami while watching television. He said: “I saw the loss of lives and homes being knocked down by what started as raindrops and I just couldn’t see how that was right and how that was happening, and so for my fifth birthday, which was shortly after, I asked for money instead of birthday presents and I gave that money to charity – the tsunami charity that was the first thing I did.” Charlie, now 13, said that when he first started asking his mum, Julie, for money instead of birthday presents, she kept saying no but he persisted. He said: “Mum said if I kept asking for money instead of presents, she’d cancel my birthday party, so I turned round and said to her ‘I don’t see why I have to have so much when some people don’t have anything’ and then she realised that’s what I wanted. I started that on my fifth birthday and I’ve done it for every birthday since. With my friends, I ask them for money too and that has gone to numerous charities. As I’ve grown up, I’ve found out about more charities.” When Charlie was six, he went to Bosnia with his mum for a sm