Charity is a wonderful thing; the backbone of society, the difference to somebody’s life, and the smile of gratitude from the suffering receiver.
But what and how much do we actually donate? Figures from the Charities Aid Foundation found that we donated 9.3bn in 2012, a lot of which was to religious organisations. We of course, live in a capitalist society in that money is the fruit of our loins, our hail Marys, and the way in which we live, breathe and socialise but is there not more we can donate than just ‘no-strings-attached’ monthly payments to glaze over the problems and the real needs of society?
Instead of providing a sticky plaster to a gaping wound, lets provide real, tangible donations to close the gap between the rich and poor, and the marginalised because we are all just people. No matter what our situations surely we should all be given the same chance at a quality life?
The short answer is yes. And here are 15 ideas to help you DO more.
- Donate clothes: To local charity shops such as; Oxfam, British Heart Foundation and Hospice of the Good Shepherd. There is even a collection point on Chester campus.
- Donate time – time is the most valuable present you can give to anybody, whether that be a long lost family member, a kids group or an old peoples home. Time is something you can never get back, so skip watching Neighbours and go out an be a real neighbour to those who need you the most.
- Donate food – set up a food bank in your local area!
- Donate education – every single person can teach something to someone. What is your passion? … sport? Stories? Drama? cooking? Reading? ….. Now go out and teach!
- Do support your local community – Of course it is easier to call into Tesco on the way home form work, they have everything you need and want. But your local community needs you! Support your butchers, support your hairdressers, support your grocery stores, support yoaur clothes stores.
- Donate collectivism – By working together we are stronger. Instead of giving money to an organisation to do something- you do something – lobby your MP, talk to your Students’ union/ trade Union and be the difference you want to see in the world.
- Donate your body – (Not like that!) ….. Supporting charity does not have to cost an arm and a leg, but if you are fit enough why not use your body to fundraise? Walk/run/crawl 5k, 10k, 13miles, marathon, super marathon, tough mudder, triathlon whatever you like – put your mind to it and you can do it. (Trust me, I did and got the running vest … and blisters …)
- Donate your organs – You can give the ultimate gift of life just by registering here: http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk:8001
- Donate blood – Check out where the next events are taking place: https://my.blood.co.uk/Home and you get FREE tea and biscuits, as well as saving peoples lives.
- Donate your talent – Can you sing? Dance? Do magic? Pole dance? Football tricks? Whatever it is, use your talent to raise money whether busking on the cobbles of Chester or hosting a charity talent event.
- Donate your hair – Donating a tangible piece of you is one of the most admirable parts of donation. Check out Sian Willimsons story who has donated her hair to raise money for the Hannah Louise Jones charity and to be used for cancer wigs. http://www.justgiving.com/hannahlouisejonesfund
- Donate your home – Hold an open house event to raise money.
- Donate your resources – Have you got a shed full of footballs? Unused arts and crafts? Books? Why not donate them to local children’s groups.
- Donate to the homeless – instead of giving the odd £1 here and there making survival packs could be the difference between life and death for a homeless person. Or you could do what Dan Lee did and pay for a hotel for a homeless man between Christmas and New Year!!
- Donate your annual leave – Got annual leave to take? Why not take it and donate it to a local charity, spend time in the community or donate a day to that friend who is struggling at the moment.
When you start to think about Donating and Doing more, the possibilities are endless. Time is something we often pretend we do not have enough of, but I bet you can tell me what happened on Corrie last night?! Donating doesn’t have to be taxing, we get enough of that on the everyday treadmill at work, instead, ‘DOnate by DOing more’ is about changing habits to change a culture.
With everyone of these ideas you are donating a large part of yourself rather than a part of your purse. Surely thats better for the soul than donating £10 of non-committal money.
Give one tip a try each week and I guarantee you will be filled with a warm fuzzy feeling knowing you have made the difference in somebody’s life!!