When the new year starts, most people make resolutions for personal development and progress, including financial, professional and family life. For this year, consider also having a resolution or two that helps combat social issues and assists those who may be less fortunate than you. As the old adage goes, ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’.
Here are four possible ways of giving back to this year without having to spend a fortune:
Donate unwanted items that are still useful
The start of the year is a great time to go through your home and pack up things that you no longer use. If you do not have enough money to share with the less fortunate, rather donate these unwanted items that would be useful to someone else.
In the current economic climate, it’s harder to donate money than a few years before. Even corporations are feeling the pinch as shown by Corporate Social Investment trends - let alone private individuals. As a result, it seems like the new trend is slanting giving to non-cash contributions.
A study by local corporate responsibility consultancy, Trialogue which was published in The Trialogue Business in Society Handbook found that, “More companies reported making non-cash contributions (of products, services and time) during the current financial year – 77% of companies in 2022, up from only 29% in 2021. Non-cash giving as a proportion of total social investment increased from 13% in 2021 to 15% in 2022.”
Give a bracelet to a friend and help hydrate communities
Relate Bracelets is a Non-Governmental Organisation that affords the public the opportunity to give to charitable causes indirectly, or without having to reach out to the organisations working on the causes themselves.
The 100% not-for-profit social enterprise sells handmade African cause bracelets to raise money for charities and create jobs for the underprivileged. So by purchasing an inexpensive beaded bracelet, you can support charitable causes that bring water to communities without clean water, or the fight against malaria and other health causes, provide better quality of education or even our help wildlife conservation projects, including the protection of vulnerable species like rhino and elephants. These bracelets can be bought through retailers such as Poetry and Woolworths.
Identify an orphanage and support it
South Africa is one of the global leaders in terms of unfavourable statistics concerning orphans. Offering your time and, if possible, other resources to orphanages in support of the children and the organisations is one of the best ways of giving back this year. Perhaps you can help with fundraising when needed, or if you have a knack for gardening, give off your time to help spruce up an orphanage garden.
According to a study in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, South Africa ranked second highest of the 21 countries modelled, with 7.22 orphans per 1 000, behind the South American country of Peru, which recorded 8.28 orphans per 1 000, according to a study in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. The same report states that, 134 500 South African children were orphaned or lost a caregiver due to COVID-19. Simply giving a bit of your time can make a big difference in the lives of these children.
Spread love among the furry friend
Giving back isn’t limited to helping human beings in compromised situations. There are other precious lives that you can impact positively with your time and efforts.
You can spend time caring for vulnerable animals at an animal shelter. There are shelters for domesticated animals that would appreciate your service, as much as the animals themselves. These are usually rescued animals and animals with physical weaknesses that need humans to interact with them. If you do not have the time to donate, you can donate money to shelters and conservation causes that serve to protect endangered wild animals.
Make this year the year of giving back to the world. We need it now more than ever.