According to the international financial services provider, Foresters, up to 90% of the general population donated cash in 2011. In our increasingly connected world it’s hard not to extend help.
That said, times can be difficult and economic tides can change. Is largesse limited to money, or is there such a thing as charity beyond money?
According to Foresters 57% of those who took part in the survey donated old items lying around, while 43% preferred volunteering their time. Clearly there are ways to lend aid to the less privileged that are not directly related to one’s pocket.
We outline some of these methods below.
No matter where you are in the world, you can be sure that doing this will constitute a great good. People between 17 and 65 can donate blood, and pumping a pint will take all of ten minutes. Men can donate every three months, and women every four months.
If you really have the time, however, you could donate your platelets. Your blood will be sifted through a cell separator machine to remove the platelets and then returned to you. Platelets are an integral part of a body’s immune mechanism. Donating them takes about 90 minutes and does a world of good for those who undergo chemotherapy, organ and tissue transplants, and those with blood disorders. You can donate up to 15 times in a single year.
Register as an Organ Donor
Not many people are properly informed about this, which is a shame. Nobody needs their organs when they are dead. You can give it up to those who are hanging by a thread. Speak to your family members to tell them which parts you are willing to donate, and then carry an organ donor card in your wallet.
Raise Puppies to Act as Guide Dogs for the Blind
There is an eponymously named association that is actually dedicated to this very purpose-Guide Dogs for the Blind. Volunteers take a pup and raise it until it is 12 to 24 months old. Volunteers then become responsible for teaching basic obedience to commands like sit, come, stay, and walking on a lead, as well as getting the pup accustomed to different environments such as public transport, country lanes and city centres. The ultimate aim is to raise a well-behaved, responsive dog ready for training. Vet bills, food costs and basic equipment are covered by the Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Register at the British Bone Marrow Registry
Donations at the Bone Marrow Agency are used to save the lives of those who suffer from Leukaemia, aplastic anaemia and other immune system ailments.
Registering will so a lot of good.
To register you need to be between the ages of 18 and 49 and already be a blood donor. During your next visit to the donor’s office ask for your tissue type-patients get matched with donors by checking their white blood cells for tissue type.
There are two ways to donate if you happen to be a match. The easiest method consists in receiving an injection for four consecutive days to increase your number of stem cells, which will then be filtered out by a cell separator machine. The other method involves donating bone marrow itself from your hips via syringe while you are under general anaesthetics. This will require you to spend two days in the hospital and then five more at home for recovery.
Alternatively, you could get in touch with the charity, Anthony Nolan, and register by supplying a sample in the free spit kit that you will receive. Young men between the age of 18 and 30 are of particular interest since they are most likely to be chosen as donors.
Record Audio Books for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Nobody should live without access to books, and if you play your part this is a goal that is achievable. Of course this is work best suited for broadcasters, actors, and those trained in voice work. Calibre, an audio book charity uses more than 80 volunteer workers to record audio books. They provide all the necessary equipment and training, and you can do the recording from the comfort of your own home.
Help an Older Person with the Gardening
The things normally taken for granted by youth seem an insurmountable task for the aged. Mowing the lawn, pruning the hedges, weeding the beds-nothing is too small. There is an added benefit if you decide to join as well: you will be giving company to someone who is most likely badly needs it.
Learn Sign Language and Lip Reading
You can download resources for learning this from online. The charity, Action on Hearing Loss has a few resources that teach the basics: a few useful words and also the finger alphabet.
The charity also holds events for the 10 million or so people in the UK who are either deaf or suffer loss of hearing, and this provides an opportunity to practise what you have learned. It could also help you assess if you have aptitude and want to go for further paid-for training via the charity.
Donate Your PC/Mac
The organisation, Computers for Charities, has a wonderful initiative that has recycled and distributed over 250,000 computer systems to the less privileged worldwide. Following the law, the equipment has to be less than 5 years old and in perfect working order. The charity takes out the hard drive to eliminate the potential for data fraud.
For PCs they are looking for Pentium IV or equivalent, towers, servers, desktops and laptops. For Mac the minimum is Imac, MacG5, or Powerbook.
Eat Curry, Save a Tiger
During Save the Bengal Tiger week about 500 restaurants around the England will be serving three-course meals for 20 pounds, 25% of which will put to service protecting the 500 estimated tigers believed to still remain in the Sundabans, a wild area on the border between India and Bangladesh dominated by mangroves.
Do you know of any other gestures of charity that go beyond money? Share with us below!