GIVING BACK IN 2014
If you can commit to a strict gym routine or Thursday night drinks with the girls/boys in 2014, you can surely add charity to your list of commitments. Making time to give back to your community. When it comes to giving back we should think ‘now’ rather than ‘later’.
Giving back to your community can be achieved in many ways and benefit countless people, making a difference in your lifestyle whilst changing others. The conventional methods of charity work, do still apply, but there are some contemporary ways to make it a fun activity for yourself, friends and family.
So where to start?
1. CHOOSE A CAUSE THAT IS CLOSE TO YOUR HEART.
By choosing a cause that is close to your heart, this will help drive your passion keep you dedicated. In South Africa especially, there isn’t a direction you can turn to without recognizing a need that can do with a little help.
- Women and children
- The Elderly
- Environmental issues
- Service Providers/ civil servants
2. ESTABLISH WHAT IT IS, YOU WILL BE OFFERING/DONATING.
Money is not the only way to give back to a charitable cause, if you donate money – we say keep it up, however, there are many other ways to make a difference without breaking the bank. Everyone should see themselves as a CSI vessel, and understand that every little bit counts.
- TIME & SKILLS
Donating time and skills is a great way to offer your services. Using the skills you already have, and sharing them with others, you will certainly come up with creative ways to make someones day better.
Fundraising can be a lot of fun, money does not have to come from your pocket, it can be raised through pleasant activities, involving family and friends.
3. GATHER A FEW FRIENDS
The more hands on deck you have, the better. Get your friends involved and let the fun begin!!
My ideas on creatively giving back to my community based on what has been in the news lately…
- You and a group of friends can, adopt a school in a township or rural community. Identify their needs, i.e sanitation, sports facilities, library etc. Come up with a fundraising plan to kit this chosen school with all the needed amenities, by certain time period. We can wait forever for the government to get to it, or we can take responsibility, and help.
- If you have a special skill, sports, art, music, volunteer to teach an extra class after school, or Saturday morning. Something that these kids would otherwise not be exposed to.
- THE ELDERLY
- Help make an elderly persons life easier, our pensioners always have errand to run. Offer to help with those errands, going to the post office, picking up groceries. These are things you can just add to your errand list, at the same time you’ll be relieving an old lady/man from having to stand in long ques.
- Use your skill to volunteer a pamper session for the elderly in a retirement home, if you are a hairstylist or make-up artist, take sometime on a Sat’ morning to wash and style the grannies, and make them feel and look good with a lick of make up.
- ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
- If you have green fingers and a passion for the environment, get like minded people together and offer to teach the community on how to start and maintain a veggies garden, for healthy eating and food security.
- The water crises has been a big topic lately, teach communities how to water harvest in these rainy months.
- SERVICE PROVIDERS/CIVIL SERVANTS
- The friction between the police and community has, for me, highlighted the evident gap between the police and its community. Service providers and the community should cultivate trust among each other. Giving back should also be to those men and women who provide services for us, So on that Saturday morning when you are baking for your friends and family, add an extra tray or two, put it in a container and drop it off at your local police station, or fire engine station, or a ward of hardworking nurses at the Gen’
- I think with us demanding services, we should also say thank you to those that are working hard to keep us safe and healthy. Instead of always complaining about the bad apples, lets reach out and built a relationship between us the community and its civil servants, maybe that’s the change we need, to just acknowledge each.
I do hope these tips will help you with your charitable obligations for this year. Remember it does not have to be a huge event with fireworks, a little does go a long way.