International Day of Charity (5 September) – 5 ways to make a difference without donating money
By Alison German
International Day of Charity is the natural day to think about how we can support people who are less fortunate. Donating to charity is the most immediate way to help improve life for others, but not everyone has the money to spend.
The good news is that money isn’t the only way you can make a difference. More often than not your actions will speak louder than your words pay check when it comes to charitable efforts in your local community. There are plenty of ways you can help others without it digging into your pay packet. Check out what you can do, and start making a habit out of doing good deeds…
Most people aged 17-65 are able to give blood. It is easy to register as a blood donor online and, once you have found your local donor centre and set up an appointment, donating blood takes as little as 10 minutes of your time. Become a blood donor
Register as an organ donor
Put simply: you won’t have much use for your organs once you’re dead, but someone else could! Only 29% of us are registered as an organ donor, but your death could spell a new beginning for someone in need of a transplant. Join the organ donor register
Be a friend
Did you know that loneliness can be as harmful for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day? We all need somebody to talk to now and again, especially when times get tough – but not everyone has someone they can turn to in times of need.
Charities such as Childline and Samaritans, who provide vital support to vulnerable children and adults, rely on volunteers to man their phones. Why not pick up the phone and help someone with as little as a one-to-one conversation?
If you’re looking to make a difference face-to-face, why not join Age UKs befriending scheme? This is where, as a volunteer, you would visit an older person once a week in their own home. Befriending can provide someone with valuable support, and a link to the outside world that often acts as a gateway to other services. Become a befriender
Donate what you don’t need
If you have old clothes, books or toys hanging around that you no longer need, your local charity shop will gladly accept them. Even if you’re not sure what use certain items could be, it is well worth donating them, as you never know – it could be a life saver for somebody else. So go on – clean out those closets!
If you have a particular cause or charity you’re passionate about, shout about it! From social media and blogging; becoming a charity advocate and making people aware of the great work they do will help to keep the money coming their way.