Being able to help people in our society who are less fortunate or in need is a privilege I take very seriously. A common form of giving to a charity is to donate money to provide basic necessities such as food, water, clothing, healthcare and shelter to those in need. Understandably, not everyone is in a position to donate money, but there are plenty of other ways of giving back to our communities. Whether your advantage is good health, dedicating some time here and there, or making informed decisions of where to shop, there is a way of giving to suit everyone’s lifestyle.
“Charity begins at home, but should not end there”- Thomas Fuller
There are some very clever humanitarians out there thinking outside the square and creating inventive ways to raise awareness for those in need. Kylee Ingram has created Team Tap. Designed for football games, this app encourages fans to bump other people’s phones with their phone. Each bump is registered and the taps are counted through a team profile. Each footy team nominates a charity to support and talk about it at half time. The team with the most taps then donates to their charity. You can find out more about this concept in the article and short video below…
1. SHOPPING ONLINE: Spend-well.com
What a great idea this is! If you are an avid online shopper, by purchasing through this platform Spend-Well, a percentage of your spend is donated to a charity that you nominate. Online retailers include iTunes, Rebel Sport, Big W and many more. This everyday task gives you the ability to help out in a really easy way. Everyone’s a winner.
2. IF YOU’RE FIT: John Maclean Foundation
A mate of mine is a regular participant in John Maclean fundraising events and his exercise and fitness routine is quite regularly based on one of the half marathons or iron man events the John Maclean foundation is involved in. The mission of this charity is “to inspire, motivate and enable little Australians who use wheelchairs, to chase their dream”. If you are already into your fitness, why not combine that with raising money for a good cause?
3. SHOPPING FOR YOUR MAN CAVE: Op shopping
As an interior designer, I love scouring charity shops as much as I love designer furniture. There is an op shop in most suburbs, whether it be a Salvos or Vinnies. The homewares section is my favourite and I quite often pick up cool glassware, vases, jugs, random decorative items, books or pieces or furniture. The Salvo’s even have an ebay shop if your preference is to shop online. If you are passing by a mortar and pestle shop though, pop in and have a look. You never know what you might find. The saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” could not be truer in this instance!
4. IF YOU’RE HEALTHY AND FIGHTING FIT: Donate Blood
If you are a specimen of good health and have a spare 1 hour in your day every 12 weeks, donating blood is for you. By doing so, you are not only helping people involved in accidents, but those who have blood disease, cancer, burns…If you are up for the challenge, you also have the option of donating plasma or platelets. Plasma has 17 life-saving products in it and is always in demand. Instead of going alone, organise to donate with a mate or work colleague. The Red Cross will love you for the double donation, then treat yourselves to a well deserved big steak meal afterwards!
5. GOT TIME TO HELP OUT THE HOMELESS? Sydney Homeless Connect
Sydney Homeless Connect is running an event at Sydney Town Hall this Tuesday 4th June. It is a conga line of products and services for the homeless community on one day in one place. Haircuts, clothes, food, pet vaccinations…you name it, they’ve thought of it and generous Sydney siders will donate their time, services or products to help out. This not-for-profit service is doing great things to give back.
If you are interested about how you can make difference in someone else’s life, have a think about what charity resonates with you most. Who are the people you would like to help; the homeless? the elderly? kids? the sick? overseas missions? Whether individually, with your friends or family or perhaps through your workplace, no matter what the cause, there are many avenues to give. If your preference is to donate money and you don’t already have a nominated charity, check out GiveEasy, a new mobile phone app that makes it easy to donate to about 65 small and large charities. You can read more about it in this Australian Financial Review article.