With Giving Tuesday just around the corner, here’s some inspiration for good deeds that you can do to pay it forward.
I’m going to run with the assumption that because you are reading this here blog you are in a fairly privileged position (compared to those with nothing). Being kind and charitable should actually go without saying. It can be tricky choosing just one charity to get behind, so here are some ideas that shouldn’t cause you too much of a headache.
Fundraising. Hold an event that inspires others around you to give. We have done sponsored walks, bake offs and pancake day parties in the past. Check out the Eventbrite Charities page for more info.
Charity shops. Whether you are donating to or buying from, all high streets have an array of charity shops these days. Utilise them. Not only will it top up your good deeds bank, you are also likely to grab yourself some huge bargains. Check out this post I wrote a while back about some finds I found in my local Oxfam.
Food banks. I abhor the fact that so many people are relying on food banks just to exist. It makes me too sad, but it is happening, so don’t pretend it’s not. Put something in the food bank box next time you’re in the vicinity of one, and not a value tin of baked beans!
Volunteer. If you have more time than spare cash, then lend a hand. Consider (wo)manning the phones for a help line, working in a charity shop or for a small grass roots organisation. The Samaritans have a great section on their website to help you get started.
Create a gift box for a child who won’t be getting any presents this Xmas. A local lady to me collects shoe boxes full of small gifts for orphaned children in the Ukraine. The Met Police run Operation Christmas Tree for local kids in the care system. Your generosity could make all the difference to that child.
Be nice to the homeless
We never, ever, know a persons story unless it’s our own, or one that is very close to us. I’ve seen too many people shrug off the homeless, and concocting stories about them “all being drug addicts”. The fact is no-one actively chooses homelessness, and numbers here in the UK are rising every year, with no sign of slowing down. My personal opinion is that how a government treats it’s most vulnerable is a huge reflection on them, but this is not a political post. Here are a few good deeds you could do for the homeless.
Buy the Big Issue. It only costs £2.50 which is roughly the same as a coffee. It’s always well written, entertaining and has fabulous articles. Check out their shop, where you can buy some awesome merchandise. If you’re active on social media, please support their thunderclap.
Reserve a place at a Crisis shelter this Christmas. It costs £26.08, and will likely make that persons year. Check out all the details on the Crisis website.
Take food to a homeless person. Whenever my family eats out in central London, which admittedly isn’t very often these days, I get our leftovers packaged up in take away containers and give them to the first person I see sleeping rough. It is always hugely appreciated.
Talk to the homeless. Say hello, look them in the eye, give them a smile. Whatever you do don’t just ignore them and pretend they don’t exist. They are human beings.
Get behind worthy causes from the comfort of your sofa
Sign petitions. Whether they are online, or in person when you’re out and about, it’s just a signature. All these signatures add up though! Check out 38 Degrees, Petition UK Parliament and Change.org for petitions to sign, or details for how you could start your own.
Share worthy causes on social media. If you see that someone has posted something charitable or worthy, then show your appreciation by hitting the share button. Re-tweets, pins and shares of this article most welcome 😉
Tick the charity box. Next time you’re buying something from eBay, when they ask if you want to donate £1 to a nice charity, tick the box. You could also give to UK charities for free when you’re purchasing online through the website Give as You Live.
Good deeds closer to home
Listen. If you know that a friend is going through a tough time then tell them you are there for them. It’s very simple, just be there. But really be there. When they’re talking listen. Don’t just wait for your turn to speak.
Care packages. I love creating little parcels of love for friends. Admittedly I usually send these on birthdays and at Christmas, but I’m vowing to send more from now on just because.
Teach your kids to be kind. We did a kindness challenge advent calendar last December, which was a fabulous experience. Each day the children had a little challenge, centred around kindness, to get them in the mood for giving. Privileged children like mine (and I’m assuming yours) get far too many presents at Christmas time. The last thing they need is counting down the days with a chocolate or sweetie.
What good deeds would you add?