Charity is a very long-established concept. All the main religions embrace it, in one way or the other. Charity is very much in line with both religious philosophy and general, securlar concerns about humanity. In addition to religious bodies numerous foundations, trusts, non-governmental organizations and philanthropic individuals work for good causes all over the world.
There are the big names in the “industry” such as Oxfam, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that many heard of. These tend to run by professional staff, have huge budgets, receive generous donations and can have a significant impact on globally pressing matters. In addition to the big “brand-name” charities, there are also small, local organizations and little charity shops that work with local staff and volunteers, tackling small-scale but significant problems in their locations.
Today’s post aims to promote the work of the small charities and seeks to encourage you to get involved, give support and help the needy. Some of these points will be well known to a number of you. However, it may be beneficial to remind ourselves from time-to-time of the benefit of charitable endevors.
It is a nice idea to offer small donations if you have the means. Even small contributions can make a difference, especially if enough of us contribute a little for a good cause. Little by little substantial amounts may be raised and thus big goals can be realized. Nevertheless, charity does not solely equate to monetary donations. Contributions via volunteer work, time and effort also counts and sometimes it is even more valuable than simply opening our purses and wallets. Sacrificing our time or offering our skills are equally charitable acts.
If you wish to get involved but don’t know how to start, here are five tips to help you to get started:
- Offer your unnecessary items for the needy – things that you don’t need or don’t use but are still in good condition. Unwanted presents and clothes that you haven’t worn for a few years, or household items that are sitting around in your house without any plans to use them will be appreciated by someone else. You can do so via the nearest charity or religious organization. Contact them or look out for collection boxes, where you can place your items.
- Help out at one of the local charities. If there isn’t any in your area, you can offer your help to the local nursery, school, old people’s home or the social department of your municipality, the public library, the local hospital or an animal shelter. The choice is abundant. Teachers and social workers tend to be overworked and underpaid so they will probably welcome your giving a helping hand, even if it is only for an hour or two. Whatever your skills are, somewhere both your time and your skills will be useful and very much appreciated.
- If you are into sports, sign up for a charity run or walk. The concept is getting more and more popular and lots of money may be raised to support you on your charity run or walk. The secondary benefit of such an endeavor will be your increased fitness level! Check out http://www.runforcharity.com/ to find an event you may be interested in.
- Offer a little cash for a microfinance loan offered to low-income people or individuals without access to credit. A microfinance loan can help disadvantaged people to launch a small business or fulfill their diverse needs. Check out Kiva and choose a little project that you would be happy to lend your money to: http://www.kiva.org/lend.
- Sponsor a child in a developing country. Organizations such a http://www.WorldVision.org and http://www.SaveTheChildren.org allow you to review profiles of children in various corners of the planet who need help with basics, such as access to clean drinking water and education.
In my view giving or sharing something, doing something for others or helping someone in need can be deeply rewarding. Giving or helping just for the sake of it, without compensation or expectation, pleases the soul. It is part of our human nature. So, find a cause that matters to you. Help, give and enjoy the spiritual reward and the knowledge that you can make a small difference.