‘Tis the Season: Christmas Charity Explained

Christmas is the season when people feel very strongly about performing acts of charity. But giving to buskers alone isn’t enough for most… So consider this quick exposé on the best ways to give to charity.

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Remember one very important fact: around the Christmas holidays, huge numbers of people seek to give to charity and to volunteer at soup kitchens and other charitable organisations. If you feel the need to help your fellow man, consider doing so at times when charitable organisations are coming up short; in summertime, for example, when people are far less interested. Or make a small contribution in terms of voluntary work or money that is carried on throughout the year, giving them a regular source of income or time they can grow to count on rather than a single wad at the end of the year.

Research the charities you contribute to carefully. Many charities have codes of conduct and beliefs they adhere to; you may wish to review these before donating, as you’ll be able to make sure you don’t donate your time or money to an organisation whose ideals you disagree with. As this can be a really disheartening discovery after the fact, it is a good idea to do your research beforehand; check online and you’ll be able to discover any controversy that’s relevant.

Contributing money is easy if you have it, difficult if not. Why not think of contributing time, instead? Working in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter is one idea… Why not walk dogs for the local rescue, or spend some time helping feral cats get used to the presence of humans? There is a huge number of charities in Britain, and many could really use your help in terms of actual work, rather than in terms of simple money. And it’s a wonderful way to contribute even if things are rather tighter than you wish they were!

What about performing an activity in return for donations? It may be a good idea to try a little red nose day of your own; cycle to the next town over, do the school run in a bright purple wig for a week – whatever you can do to get people to sponsor you in the name of charity. Ask the company you work for, the school your kids attend, and local businesses for their support; you can often count on it as they will be mentioned in however small a way and their support for charity will be noted as such.

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Another way to give to charity is by selling handmade goods and donating the proceeds. Around Christmas, you can hand-made ornaments and sell them. Or you can organise a bake sale with your office or your child’s school, allowing others to join in and raising funds for a Christmas charity. The shoebox appeal is a great idea, too, although they have closed up shop for the year. And why not check with Regretsy.com to see if their dispute with Paypal has been resolved so you can contribute to underprivileged children’s Christmas cheer?

Charities are out there, and they need your help… Consider giving something for the Christmas season. But consider helping throughout the rest of the year, too!

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