When you're barely keeping your head above water it seems inconceivable to give money to charity, even if you'd really like to. I'm here to tell you that there are a lot of different ways to make a difference without breaking the budget!
- Do you have an old mobile phone you no longer want or used printing ink cartridge? Even if it's broken, many companies will recycle it for you for free. Recycle 4 Charity let you choose who receives your money, paying £1 for an ink cartridge and up to £70 for a working phone.
- What do you do with old pairs of glasses? Did you know that 10% of the world are disabled or disadvantaged because they don't have access to spectacles? Many are excluded from school and cannot see properly to work. If you get a new pair of glasses, please don't throw the others away! Take them to your optician and they will send them to Vision Aid Overseas free of charge.
- Have a bit of a spring clean and donate old clothing, CDs, DVDs, games, ornaments or even furniture to your local charity shop. Most places are always in desperate need of new stock. Charities range from animal welfare to medical research to global humanitarian groups, so you can choose who you want to support.
- You can make a donation in someone's name as a birthday or Christmas present for someone in your life who wants to help too, but perhaps can't afford to make a donation themselves. Oxfam have a great range of clutter-free gifts that allow you to provide water, food, education or shelter to people in need.
- Many people save their copper coins but even with a full piggy bank you are left with little reward but a lengthy trip to the bank to get it changed to more usable tender! Why not donate your 1p and 2p coins to charity whenever you pass a collection box? It'll be a quick and easy way to make a small difference.
- What about taking part in a sponsored event, or organising your own? Most charities have a link on their websites for information on events and how to help. You might even get to try something you've never done before – skydiving, anyone?
- Volunteer! You can find out about a huge range of volunteer work in your area using Do-It. From conservation work to working with the elderly, from charity shop work to helping to run a youth centre for children; pick a charity you feel best suits your concerns about the world and then go out there and make a difference.
- Many charities rely on small monthly donation. A £2 a month donation to Oxfam provides food for people that need it most, at a cost of £24 a year to you.
“We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.”