Published: 30 August 2021
This Sunday is the International Day of Charity, a time for everyone to think about the ways we can help those less fortunate than us.
Helping others can be a good thing not just for society, but for ourselves as well.
But sadly, many people are put off by the idea that it costs a lot, whether that’s in money or your time.
To celebrate the International Day of Charity, we wanted to share some ideas for helping people that every student can do.
Help a stranger
Charity does not have to mean donating money to a big organisation or giving up your time to large community projects.
Sometimes it’s as simple as holding the door open for someone, giving up your seat on the DLR or helping an older person cross the road.
Teach your children about giving
Longer lasting change comes from passing down behaviours through the generations.
If you’ve got children, nephews and nieces or even younger cousins, you have an opportunity to teach them about charity.
Encourage them to give away the toys they don’t play with anymore, visit sick relatives or talk to the lonely kid in the playground.
Give away your warmer things
Once the weather starts getting colder, spare a thought for the people without the comforts you have.
Whether they’re in a shelter or on the street, one of the biggest challenges homeless people face is dealing with the winter.
Consider giving away your spare gloves, hats and scarves either to a registered charity or simply to someone you see out in public.
Of course, giving your warm clothes, along with any other unwanted things from your home to your local charity shop not only helps people buy things they wouldn’t normally be able to afford, but it means money is being given to good causes thanks to you.
Our medical system is always in need of blood to help treat some of the most severe accidents they see.
If you can, the NHS is always grateful to receive donations from all blood groups.
You can find out how to become a donor on their website.
Help in a shelter
There are loads of homeless shelters all around London, run by a wide range of charities.
They are always looking for staff who can give an hour or two a week to help out.
Whether that means cooking meals, chatting with the residents or teaching skills like job applications, your time will be appreciated.
You can find a good list of shelters on the Streets of London website.
Use your voice
Another thing you can be doing to encourage a wider culture of charity is to talk about the causes that mean something to you.
Share your thoughts, activities and links on your social media accounts.
Even if only one other person does something for charity thanks to what you’ve written, you will have done a good thing.
If you are interested in getting involved and helping people out, you can find more information about the International Day of Charity on the United Nations website.