I’m super conscious about being generally pretty lucky in life. I suspect it’s an ongoing symptom of being a Girl Guide as a kid – we were taught that giving back to the community is essential. It makes sense, right – charity begins at home? They don’t have to be big acts that all and sundry need to know about. They can be as simple as smiling at someone – or asking if they’re ok.
It’s one of the reasons I always try to annually organise my nearest and dearest into some kind of a charity event (one year hosting a blogger DIY afternoon tea, the next two running cake sales at work disguised as a baking competition) – because who doesn’t love a friend who extracts cash from your wallet *smiles cherubically*.
And, actually, you should share what you’ve done (not in a big-headed way obviously.) You never know what you might inspire.
Donate Blood or Blood Stem Cells
To donate blood it only takes half an hour AND you get a free biscuit. To become a potential lifesaver, join the UK (or local to you) blood stem cell registry it’s often as easy as going online somewhere like DKMS and swiping a few swabs on the inside of your cheek that are posted to you. If you are matched to someone who is suffering from blood cancer, in 90% of cases you donate extra stem cells through either a procedure where they grow extra stem cells and hook you up to a machine for a few hours, or in the remaining 10% they take bone marrow from your pelvic bone (not the base of your spine.)
Run for Charity to fundraise.
I’ve done a couple of 5km charity runs in the past but haven’t managed to make it more than that, let alone run a proper marathon like some of my incredible friends – but every little bit helps.
Donate your skills and time.
From having a cuppa each week with a little lonely old lady, to doing pro bono work as a Lawyer or Doctor. Or just teaching a local charity how to use social media.
Set yourself a goal of 15 random acts of kindness, to donate 10 items to Beauty Banks (a homegrown charity fighting hygiene poverty) or spend a few weekends volunteering in a local soup kitchen.
Donate some change.
Empty that purse pocket that gets heavier every day.
That elderly man who looks sad, smile at him, ask him how his day has been. Arrange a coffee with your friend who struggles with their mental health. Buy flowers for no reason, to be delivered to a friend on the other side of the country.
Sure, they are simply donating cash to a worthy charity, but who doesn’t want to send their mate an e-Chicken?
Using your blog influence.
It doesn’t all have to be about donating cold hard cash. How about simply including a retweet in your scheduling from a charity close to your heart? Or put together a coterie of Instagram influencers to raise tens of thousands of pounds like Creating for Good. Or write the story in a blog post of what a charity means to you and your loved ones. Or invite charities to co-host Twitter chats that you find yourself volunteer running (like @lbloggerschat.)
Now, I want you to do something (who says anything in life is free huh?). Write your own post, take 5 minutes to smile at someone who looks down or book yourself in for a blood donation. It all makes a difference – step by step.