We could all do better at giving back to the world around us. A planet that helps each other out and supports the struggling is a much stronger place. Giving something to charity, in whatever form, helps improve the lives of someone on the earth. It may seem like a small difference, but to someone out there, it’s a huge gesture of kindness. We all have a duty of care to help others, and it boosts our own sense of wellbeing. Unfortunately, we don’t always know where to start when it comes to helping out.
We are inundated with charities vying for our attention. We receive thousands of letters asking for money or donations. We are stopped on the streets and asked to sponsor friends and family. Each of these are fine causes, but it’s not always easy to see where the money is going. You don’t know how the organisation is spending the money or whether any of it is reaching the people in need. With that in mind, we’ve listed a few ways you can give back that have real, tangible benefits. You can see the good you’re doing and help the world around you.
- Volunteering – Dropping a few notes in a bucket is the easiest thing in the world. It’s getting out there yourself – volunteering – that makes a real difference. If you’re looking for a first-hand experience and a true sense of charity, donate your time rather than your money. You’ll get an enormous sense of achievement, and it’s one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do. Choose something close to your heart. It could be helping out at the local homeless shelter or making a trip to underprivileged communities in Africa. It could be as simple as taking dogs for a walk from the local animal charity. Volunteering is the best way to help contribute to a charity.
- Donating larger items – It’s not always easy to see how donating a little pocket-change will make a difference. Donating larger items, however, will make a huge impact. Many charities are now accepting computer and smartphone donations. Rather than getting rid of your old technology, these items can be donated to developing countries to help them get online. You can even donate your boat to charity! Any large donation like this is sure to benefit the lives of many.
- Use the internet – How often do you buy something online? For most people, we browse shops and make online purchases every week. Using a service like Browse For A Cause, you can make donations from every online purchase. Once logged in, they’ll make a 3-5% donation from everything you buy. It doesn’t even come out of your pocket, so it’s well worth signing up. Every purchase will automatically send a small amount of money to your chosen charities.
- Big challenges – If you’ve always wanted to take on a big challenge, why not tie it to a charity? If you’re thinking of running a marathon, raise money from your friends and family. You get to choose the charity that means the most to you and get direct contact with the charity itself. There are so many options and ideas out there to suit everyone. Perhaps you could climb a mountain, take an epic cycling challenge or throw a party to raise money! Anything that will arouse the interest of your peers is a worthy cause. See how much you can raise.
- Charity shops – Charity shops are a fantastic way to give something real to those who need it. Most local charity shops accept donations of clothes, books, and old toys. Next time you do a big clear out of your home, take everything to a charity shop. Many shops now deliver big plastic bags to your door. Simply fill them up and they charity shop will collect them. You could also donate your time by volunteering to work in a charity shop once in a while.
- Monthly contributions – Perhaps the easiest way to give to charity is through monthly donations. You can set up an automatic bank transfer to your favourite charity. You choose the amount and you’ll receive regular communications in return. The WWF, for example, send you regular updates about how your money is being used to help. You can sponsor a particular animal and get booklets explaining how your donation is being spent.
- Give blood – Finally, you can regularly donate your blood. It’s a powerful way to help those in emergency crises, and it’s very simple to do.
Follow these tips and find a real and powerful way to help support your favourite cause.