International Charity Day

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The 5th September was International Day of Charity, a day that aimed to raise awareness of the work that charities do and encourage more people to get involved and help those in need. The 5th September was chosen because it’s the anniversary of Mother Teresa’s death. No matter what day of the year it is though, there are lots of ways that we can all help both local and national charities throughout the UK.

How can I help?

You may already give to your favourite charities via direct debit or by putting money in collection tins- but there are many other ways you can help without giving money. Here are our top 5 ways to make a difference in your local community:

Volunteer in a charity shop

You might already give your unwanted clothes to charity shops, but could you give the gift of your time too? Why not offer to help in a charity shop one morning or afternoon a week? If you don’t feel comfortable using a till and being on the shop floor, you could always sort through donated clothes in the shop’s storeroom instead.International Charity Day

Help at your local foodbank

Most supermarkets, community centres, churches and schools are collection points for foodbanks. People donate tins and packets which are then sorted and distributed to people in need. You could help out by sorting through the food or greeting families and individuals who come in to pick up a food parcel. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer at your local foodbank, no matter where you are in the UK.  

Walk a dog (or two) at a rescue centre

If you love dogs, why not ask your local rescue centre if you can become a volunteer dog walker? All the dogs need walking at least twice a day and there is always a shortage of volunteers. Many dogs struggle to adjust to life in kennels and are desperate for some love and attention.

Befriend a neighbour

If you have a neighbour who is housebound or doesn’t get many visitors, perhaps you could be their knight in shining armour? You could pop in for a chat once a week or offer to get their shopping for them. Even something as simple as putting their rubbish bin out for them once a fortnight will show them that you care.

Become a mentor

Could you make a difference to a child in care? By volunteering to be an independent visitor you will be matched with a young person who has little or no contact with their birth family. You have to commit to one visit a month for a minimum of two years but you’ll no doubt love it so much that you’ll continue to do it for many years to come.

You could take your young person to the cinema, the zoo, for a meal or to see a football match – any activity that you think they’ll enjoy. Your expenses are covered so it won’t cost you anything financially, and the difference you can make to the child’s life is incredible.

Be a Brownie or Scout Leader

If you love being outdoors and staying active, volunteering as a leader for your local Brownie or Scout group could be the ideal way to spend your time charitably. They’re always on the lookout for adults willing to help, and not having enough leaders sometimes means many children miss out by being placed on a long waiting list.

From volunteering in a foodbank to helping out your local Brownie group, these alternative ways of being charitable will cost you no money yet will be vastly beneficial to your local community. As well as helping people out of all ages and backgrounds, you will also get to make some valuable friends and feel you are spending your time doing something worthwhile.  

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