I have now completed two months of the my year of giving challenge and I do find that I am looking for ways to help others and reading charity updates online more and more.
The most obvious way to give to others is in the form of financial aid but this whole project was about me identifying other ways to give, other ways to inspire people to be generous and think about their actions and help or give in any way they can. Although financial help is still fantastic and I would always encourage people to do that if they can, many people simply can’t afford to give cash donations to all the charities they wish to support and may be unaware of others ways they can help.
In January I focused on helping those in need by donating clothes to a local community hub but this month I have focused more on my loved ones. As a blogger I sometimes find myself in very fortunate situations where I am invited to events or attractions or even gifted items in exchange for a review and as a result my husband and our children have had some wonderful opportunities they probably wouldn’t have if we both had “normal” jobs. So this month I decided to share these where I could.
At the start of the month I was invited to Extreme Circus and was lucky enough to have some extra tickets so I invited my mum and her partner a long too. It felt really good to be able to share this experience with them and treat them in a way I couldn’t financially but what was even nicer was getting to see them enjoy the circus with they boys.
That very same week we were also invited to St. Helens to review The Wizard of Oz and once again I found myself asking for 1 extra ticket which meant I could share this experience with one of the boys friends. Now don’t get me wrong their friend has been to pantomimes before but it’s rare that as a parent you can offer to take a friend along with you and both boys loved having someone else enjoy the show with us.
Towards the end of the month I worked with Visit South Devon and Torquay’s Dinosaur World and this time as well as my husband and children coming along I was also able to take my nana who we were visiting at the time. This was extra special as living 300 miles away from us she rarely gets to experience exiting days out with her great grandchildren so being able to take her along too was lovely.
As well as experiences, this month I was also able to gift my nana a brand new pair of Gravity shoes from Hotter that I won in a blogger competition. These shoes are really comfy and should be great for her costal walks in Devon and although I did like the shoes I knew I wouldn’t wear them that often and she would have more use for them.
I may not have done a great deal this month towards making the world a better place or helping those in need but I have given what I could when I could and I think these are pretty good examples of how we can make people smile and give the gift of happiness to those we love, without it costing money. Of course I am in a fortunate position with these examples but next time you book tickets to a show check to see if it would be the same price to get a family ticket and take a friend along too, or perhaps you have a national trust membership where you can take up to 10 children with you for free (I’m not suggesting you take 10, but an extra 1 might be nice). Or maybe you are a comper and enter the occasional competition if you happen to win something you don’t want then maybe think about who might like it and give it to them, it’s better than it taking up room in your house if you won’t use it and making someone else smile is a sure fire way to may you smile too.
What have you given this February?
If you are a charity or know of a charity that you think have an unusual way people can get involved then please do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out how the rest of my year of giving is going here