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.
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!
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