Are you a keen baker? Hoarding wardrobes full of unworn clothes? Got a secret talent for knitting winter hats and scarves? If you can answer yes to any of the above, have a couple of pounds to spare or are happy to donate your time, get involved with #GivingTuesday 2016 on 29 November and do “good stuff” – that’s the message behind this year’s campaign.
After it was initially launched in the US in 2012, directly following ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’, as a way of reminding people that there is more to the holidays than consumerism and to kick start the “giving season”, the day of giving has now spread across the world with over 70 countries taking part in 2016.
The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) first brought #GivingTuesday to the UK in 2014 and last year’s campaign was hugely successful: £6,000 a minute was raised for UK charities and the world record was broken for the most amount of money donated online in 24 hours. It’s not surprising that the UK public have embraced #GivingTuesday.
According to the CAF World Giving Index 2016 – a leading study on global generosity – the UK is the most generous country in Europe, followed by Ireland and the Netherlands. However, the report also revealed that disappointingly the amount of young people aged 16-24 who donate to charity has declined by 1.2 percentage points.
It’s easy to understand why the youngest group surveyed give the least, considering the typical low wages students earn. However, the CAF stresses that the
day isn’t just about raising money.
The message for 2016 is ‘do good stuff’, so we’ve thought of a few ways you can help local charities in Edinburgh and Glasgow, without breaking the bank.
There are countless charities across Scotland which could do with a few extra helping hands. If you’ve got any time to spare and would like to offer your skills, head to the Volunteer Scotland website.
You can filter volunteering opportunities by region, availability, work types and other options to find a role that suits you.
Although volunteering is massively appreciated by charities, it’s also a great opportunity for you to boost your CV, develop confidence, learn new skills and you could gain a reference to take to future employers.
Some of the local charities you could get involved with are ..
Dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation among older people, this charity organises monthly tea parties where volunteer drivers pick up elderly guests and take them to afternoon tea at the home of a volunteer host where they can meet and chat with other guests and volunteers.
They have groups across the UK and are looking for drivers in Glasgow and Edinburgh to get involved for a couple of hours one Sunday each month and hosts to be involved once or twice each year.
Providing relationship counselling, family, mediation and other family support services across mainland and island Scotland, this Scottish charity is looking for a volunteer with some experience in marketing or journalism to help strategise, create and schedule Facebook and Twitter content to help engage young people in important conversations.
This would be great for students looking to gain experience for their CV and involves remote work you can do from home, plus one monthly meeting at their offices in Edinburgh.
If you’re handy with technology, think about volunteering with Waverley Care, a charity supporting those living with HIV and Hepatitis C in Scotland. They run a ‘Geek Club’ where clients can get help with using their items of technology.
If you have a good working knowledge of modern technology and could help with anything from setting up an email address, to using Photoshop or explaining how to fully use an item of technology, volunteer for just three hours per week and help make a difference in someone’s life.
If you don’t have time to volunteer, there are plenty of other ways you can get involved with #GivingTuesday
Did you know one in four of us will need to receive blood at some point but only four percent of the population donate blood regularly? If you’re able to safely do so, head along to a blood donor centre on #GivingTuesday and ‘do good stuff’ by donating your blood, it only takes about an hour and one donation can save or improve up to three lives.
Also, if you’ve not yet registered yourself as an organ donor but have always meant to, head to www.organdonation.nhs.uk on 29 November and register, it takes two minutes and could one day save multiple lives. Whilst you’re online, why not join the Anthony Nolan register, which matches individuals willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow to people who need lifesaving transplants.
BAKE OR MAKE FOR CHARITY
Even if your Victoria Sponge isn’t quite Bake Off worthy, if you can whip up a few tasty treats why not get involved with a bake sale? Events like bake sales seem to occur every other week in universities and offices, so if you tend to shy away or just donate the occasional few pounds, try approaching your student or work charity committee and get involved in the planning and baking, it’ll feel much more worthwhile knowing you’ve helped raise money for a good cause – you could even nominate local charities to support.
You could also raise extra money by selling gifts alongside your baking, if you keep the price point low enough people will likely buy items for Christmas presents and stocking fillers. If you can knit, make a few bobble hats, they should go down well in this freezing weather, or keep with the baking theme and sell chocolate chip cookie recipes in mason jars, it’s cost effective and a great stocking filler.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
If you’ve not got any spare cash to donate to charity and no time to volunteer, you could still help encourage donations from other people by showing your support for #GivingTuesday on social media.
Many of your friends and family might not be aware of the charitable event and your post could spur them on to donate. It’s a free and easy way to support charity during the festive season.