Alpha Gamma Delta has been fantastic to me in more than one way, but I think that the most important way is showing me that philanthropy can take many different forms. In 2015, we are fairly fortunate and I think that we can all give back, in one way or the other!
There are numerous options to give back to your community; what are some of these ways?
1) Donate money- We all know that you can donate monetarily to charitable organisations, and I think that this can be a great fit for some people! I would recommend doing your research on the organisation before donating in order to feel secure in your choice. You could also check in with your employer- a lot of employers are connected with charitable organisations and you can donate through paycheque deductions. This is a good option if you want to donate but you are a tad forgetful!
2) Donate items- I see it every week, volunteering with the Humane Society here, charitable organisations can use items in addition to money. Animal rescues always need puppy chow/dog food/cat food, newspapers, animal beds, and toys, among other things. Children’s hospitals often collect books, movies, and toys for the children staying there. Some organisations have boutiques (typically antique stores) where the proceeds go to the organisation- it can’t hurt to take your item in and see if it will benefit them! I also donate books to the Children’s Hospital to sell in their booksales. You clear up space, and those who need it can benefit!
3) Donate time- A lot of charitable organisations run mainly on volunteer power. At the Winnipeg Humane Society, there are over 800 volunteers! Even if you can only help out one afternoon or evening a month, your time will be helpful, and someone will be thankful. Food banks, after school clubs, libraries, clubs, and community centres can all use volunteers, among countless other organisations. You might gain some skills, you might make some wonderful friends, and you might make a huge difference to someone!
4) Purchase With Purpose- If you are going to buy something, you might be able to help an organisation at the same time. I love Alex and Ani bracelets, in particular the Charity By Design collection. A portion of each bangle’s sales each year will go to the organisation it represents, with a minimum of $25,000 going to the organisation- Alex and Ani will make up the difference if needed! Amazon Smile is a program that lets you shop on Amazon as usual, with 0.5% going to the organisation that you select from the listing. It’s not a ton, but it’s something!
We are quickly arriving at autumn, with Thanksgiving, and then Christmas follows soon after. These are the times that we remember to give back to those in need- but they don’t need to be the only times we do. Try and find small ways to make a difference, you won’t regret it!