AD | I know, I know, I’m already talking about 2020. But when it comes to things like giving back to the community, to charity or doing your bit to make the world a better place, I don’t think its ever too early to start thinking about the different ways you can do that.

Back in 2014, I raise over £900 for Cancer Research UK by doing a week-long sponsored readathon, after my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer (she’s now 100%, thankfully!) And after my Granddad passed away from lung cancer just last month, that charity obviously holds an even closer place in my heart.

But I’m not here to boast. Because quite honestly, I have nothing to boast about. I could be doing A LOT more to give back to the charities that I hold dear, to my community and doing my bit. It’s a hard pill to swallow. But I know I’m not doing enough.

So next year, I’m going to really knuckle down with all of the above. Fundraising for charity and helping however you can (which I’m aware will be different for everyone) is really important. We can’t save the world on our own but if we all do our bit, I think the world would be a much better place.

There’s so many ways to help out – from bigger Group IFC capital appeals, to much smaller ways. But it definitely all helps. There’s never too much kindness in the world!

So here are 9 ways we can give back to charities, communities and the world as a whole:

Donate old belongings to charity

You all know I’m a huge fan of de-cluttering. But with a lot of de-cluttering comes a lot of unwanted stuff. And a lot of potential items which could go in the bin. But the next time you have a de-clutter, consider what might be able to go to charity shops – such as clothes, books, ornaments etc.

Do a sponsored something

Like I did with my sponsored readathon, you can always do a sponsored something to raise money for a charity you care about. Race for Life and a variety of other running events are always organised across the UK every year but if running isn’t for you (or you physically can’t), then brainstorm alternative ways to raise funds!


I’ve been wanting to volunteer at a local animal sanctuary which does AMAZING work for unwanted and mistreated farm animals for so long now. But I just haven’t got around to it. But that’s enough excuses. I love this sanctuary and have visited more times than I can remember. But I’d love to help them even more but offering my time too. Don’t forget, giving back doesn’t always mean in a monetary sense!

Consider adoption as a birthday / Christmas gift

I don’t mean children, obviously. But last Christmas I didn’t want many gifts so I asked my Mum to adopt an animal from the Born Free Foundation for me instead. I got a lovely pack of information about the bear I adopted for the year, plus a cuddly toy and it was a much more satisfying gift, knowing I was doing a little something to help.

Reduce your plastic and waste

As well as specific charities, now is definitely the time to focus on giving back to the Earth as a whole and doing your bit to help protect it. I definitely need to improve on my plastic waste, which is something I want to educate myself on more and really knuckle down with. All small changes will help in the long run!

Ask for donations instead of birthday cards

You’ll see this a lot on Facebook these days where people start fundraisers and I think it’s a good idea. Although perhaps could be executed in a better way. But for your next birthday, you could always ask everyone who usually gets you a card (or even a gift) to donate to a charity of your choice instead. If they usually spend £2 on a birthday card, that’s £2 that could go towards something useful a charity could use.

Get involved

All communities are different but if you live in a town, chances are there are plenty of events and things that run throughout the year which you could help with or attend. That animal sanctuary I want to volunteer at always holds fun days throughout the year and all attendance money goes straight back into the sanctuary itself. Look for things in your local paper or local social media pages.

Be more aware of your carbon footprint

Just being aware and making those small changes when necessary will help immensely. Walk somewhere instead of drive once a week, have one meat free day a week, put an extra jumper on instead of the heating next time you’re cold. They’re such small things that can make a huge impact!

Educate yourself

And finally, knowledge is power. Whether that’s educating yourself on the work that specific charities do or the harmful effects humans are having on the planet – education is the best way to go forward with giving back to the community, charity and the world as a whole!

How are you going to give back? Do you have anything planned? How do you think you could improve going forward? Do you have any charities you currently support?

* This is a sponsored post


  1. Such a valuable post Jenny! I feel like I’m not really doing enough at the moment. I used to volunteer 20+ hours a week and I’d love to get back to that as it was so satisfying and fulfilling. I’m also a huge fan of charity shops! Such a good way to get rid of unwanted things and also find a few bargains!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

  2. I always try to take any unwanted clothes to charity shops to help out and I have done Race For Life in the past. I want to do it next year in honor of my mum so fingers crossed!

  3. I support my local foodbank (both time as a warehouse volunteer and I guess financially but through donations of things needed/that we don’t like to ask for rather than giving money)
    I also ran a fundraiser for SANDS this year, and that’s a charity I want to support more because there is so little out there about baby loss and talking about it, and I was affected a lot (obv not as much as the parents) by the loss of my nephew last year. It’s a charity that’s close to my heart, but also difficult to support because I get an overwhelming sadness every time.

    Another charity that I try and support is a tiny one for my nephew’s cousin who suffered HIE at birth and consequently cerebal palsy and developmental delays. All the NHS offers is physio and speech therapy once a month, so G’s parents set up a charity for her to privately fund physio and speech therapy and intensive week camps for her. Sometimes I worry that it’s too much and she’s not given the time to just be, but also I see how much the therapy helps her and how her speech is coming along and her muscle tone, and the special adaptive equipment that the NHS won’t fund so she can stand (assisted) and draw on a blackboard with her cousin, and run after him in her wheely contraption.

    I tend to support smaller charities where you can see the difference that is made. Maybe that’s selfish of me.

  4. I ran a charity 5K for the first time this year and always donate unwanted clothing to local charities. Can’t bear to just throw it all in the bin when it’s still in good condition and someone else can benefit from it! The 5k was a goal for this year so maybe I’ll set a couple of charity related goals for 2020. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Such a fab post and some wonderful ideas to give to charity. I like the idea of asking for donations instead of birthday cards, people often just throw them away anyway so instead getting some money donated for a charity is great.

    Chloe xx

  6. Great ideas! I personally like donating to charity on a regular basis, and not eating meat every single day. If everybody did one small thing to help one another every day, the world would be such a pleasant place!

  7. I love that you’ve written about this, and also that you’ve included giving back to the Earth! That’s so important right now. Volunteering is amazing – I’ve helped out in Kenya, which was incredible, but I’d also love to do more animal-focused volunteering. We’re thinking of adopting a blind hedgehog as a way to do something good!

  8. Lovely post Jenny. Whenever we have a decluttering session at home we’ll also give good quality unwanted items to charity. This will usually be the Samaritans or a local charity who help to house young people in need. I think it’s so important to give back and love your idea of donations or animal adoptions in lieu of presents or cards – I’m going to suggest this to my family this year. Besides declutterinf, I’ve also taken part in a couple of runs and donate monthly to a local wildlife charity.

  9. I’ve always donated unwanted clothes, books, belongings, etc to op-shops. I couldn’t imagine just binning them. I always try to be conscious of reducing waste and plastic. At least here for our plastic water bottles we can recycle them and earn 10c each bottle. Really enjoyed this post xx

  10. Great suggestions! I always give my old clothes to a local charity shop or charity bin. I have recently donated a lot of make up to a local charity and hope to donate more in the future xx

  11. Argh 2020, both confused how it went so fast and excited as it is closer to our retirement date. Love the advice – but we are super super green in this family – but always looking for great advice on more.

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