I KNOW we are constantly asked to dig deeper into our pockets to help good causes, but if you really think charity begins at home I implore you to read on.
We complain about constant calls on our cash and our consciences, but spare a thought for the men and women who work with cancer patients daily who could justifiably complain of 'compassion fatigue' - but don't.
These days medics and their patients not only have to cope with cancers, they also have to become fundraisers, and at Mount Vernon Hospital they are desperate to raise the last £200,000 of a £1.5m appeal to ensure patients get the best treatment.
The money will go towards a new building where patients will get their chemotherapy treatment in more pleasant surroundings, and it will allow clinical trials of new, possibly life-saving, drugs to be carried out on patients, all under one roof.
These fundraisers are no 'chuggers'; they will not assault you in the town centre with their cheesy chatter; they won't get their big night on TV with Pudsey Bear, and they certainly haven't been offered a Bob Geldof benefit special.
Impressively they have quietly raised most of the money already, from grants, donations from patients, sponsored events and legacies, and they have only six months left to raise the rest.
If they are going to run out of steam it is now, as oncologist Professor Gordon Rustin and former patient/fundraiser Brian Abbott confessed to me last week.
They have run out of ideas, drained their sources dry and for the first time they are asking for our help.
Mr F was treated by Prof Rustin in 1991 when he had cancer and we can vouch for the outstanding, professional treatment and follow-up care he has had to date, and all on the NHS we moan about so much.
We do tend to take our local hospitals for granted, but if you are still in doubt, remember one day it may be your life that is saved by the Mount Vernon team. Please help.