5 quick and easy ways to make a difference
15 April is Microvolunteering Day, which raises awareness of the microvolunteering movement – an initiative that involves doing bite-sized, no-commitment actions that benefit worthy causes. Tasks can be done on a one-off basis, in less than 10 minutes. Some can even be done via your smartphone, making it easy to fit in a life-changing task as you eat your lunch or wait for the bus!
Want to get involved? Here are 5 quick ways to make the world a better place…
Show some encouragement
Got a spare 10-20 minutes? Why not send a letter or email to a seriously ill child and put a much-needed smile on their face? UK charity Post Pals provides a list of sick children, some who are undergoing cancer treatment or transplants, to whom you can send a card, letter, email or gift to help them through their treatment or illness. Anyone of any age can get involved and there’s no signup or commitment required – just pick a recipient, write your message and send for a quick, free way to brighten up someone’s day. postpals.co.uk
Donate your knowledge
Share your expertise, knowledge or opinion to help make a difference. Visit helpfromhome.org for details of charities, non-profit organisations and charities looking for people to take part in surveys that could help with important research. Alternatively, you could help someone else make the right choices for their future by sharing your career experience. Head to crea8ingcareers.com to find out more about how to upload a short video telling your career story, to help inspire young people starting out.
Use your skills
If you’ve got a bit more time on your hands and want to put your talents to good use, you could take on a one off charity craft project – as big or small as you like! Knitters are in big demand with many charities, including Cuddles (cuddles-uk.org), who attempt to support families dealing with the loss of a baby through miscarriage or stillbirth by supplying gowns, blankets and wraps to maternity units across the UK; the Give a Dog a Coat campaign, who provide dog coats for homeless dogs; Bonnie Babies (bonniebabies.co.uk), who provide tiny clothes and blankets for premature babies; and Project Linus UK (projectlinusuk.org.uk), who supply blankets to children in UK hospitals, shelters and social service agencies.
Alternatively, stitchers and quilters can contact Love Quilts UK (lovequiltsuk.com) to get involved with cross stitching squares to be made into quilts for British children with life-threatening or lifelong illnesses, or bakers can help make a needy child’s birthday memorable by baking a birthday cake for Free Cakes for Kids UK (freecakesforkids.org.uk).
Download an app
Squeeze in some good deeds while you’re out and about by downloading a charitable smartphone app. Here are some great apps that make a difference:
- Be My Eyes – this allows users to donate small portions of time to blind people across the world, by offering remote assistance with everyday tasks – such as identifying a food tin or helping them to set the temperature on an oven. Users can accept whether or not to answer a call (if not another user will pick up) so you can help out in short bursts as and when convenient.
- SnapDonate allows you to donate to your favourite charities quickly and easily while on the go. Simply scan a charity logo to identify their Justgiving page, then select the amount you want to give.
- Play to Cure: Genes in Space – This app by Cancer Research UK is a fun game that uses the collective force of players to analyse real genetic data and help beat cancer sooner!
- iCukoo – This clever app works like a normal alarm clock, only it donates money to charity every time you hit the snooze button (all the more reason to stay in bed a bit longer)!
Campaign for change
Charities are constantly looking for help to promote their causes and campaign for change, so why not help by spending 5 minutes starting or signing an e-petition for a cause you believe in or promoting a charitable campaign on social media? Visit change.org or helpfromhome.org for a list of petitions you can choose to sign or for help on starting your own.