What can you do when you want to support good causes but are short on cash or time? Well, there are plenty of other ways you can donate to charity and help those less fortunate, even if you don’t have money to spare.
As part of the Midcounties Co-operative, we pride ourselves on doing all we can to support charities and good causes in our communities, and are always looking for new ways we can help. Here are 7 different ways you can donate to charity – some may surprise you!
1) Your blood and bone marrow
Most people aged between 17 and 65 can give blood. Providing you meet the necessary criteria, women can donate every four months and men can donate every three. It only takes around 10 minutes to donate a pint of blood, meaning it’s pretty quick and easy to get involved. You can also volunteer to donate your platelets, which can help people having chemotherapy, organ transplants or suffer from blood disorders.
If you want to go one step further, you can sign up to the British Bone Marrow Registry, providing you’re aged between 18 and 49 and are already a blood donor. Donating your bone marrow takes longer than giving blood – you may need to take a few days off work – but can be a huge help to patients suffering from leukaemia and other diseases.
2) Your hair
Got a full head of hair? Why not donate some of it to charity? That’s right, there are charities, like the Little Princess Trust, that collect hair donations and use them to create wigs for children who have suffered hair loss due to cancer treatments. It’s worth bearing in mind that these charities also accept financial contributions, to help towards the cost of creating the wigs.
3) Your photographs
Just like businesses, charities need access to good quality photos – whether this is to update their website, or create leaflets, posters and other marketing collateral. However, if they don’t have an in-house photographer, buying stock photos can be costly. PhotoFoundation is an organisation that lets you donate your photos to their library, which charities can then access for free. They also donate 65% of any profits from commercial sales to charitable causes.
4) Your voice
If you’re one of those people who struggles to keep quiet for more than a few seconds, you can now put your talkativeness to good use! There are a few charities that you can donate your voice to, for different reasons. Calibre, for example, uses volunteers to record audiobooks that aren’t commercially available. Speak Unique collects voice recordings to create personalised digital voices to be used in communication aids for people with speech impairments.
5) Your music
Listening to music can be a great way to lift your spirits, especially when times are hard. Music in Hospitals organise concerts and singalong sessions in hospitals, care homes, hospices and other locations, working with talented musicians to brighten peoples’ days.
6) Your old prosthetic leg
If you’ve been or know someone who’s been fitted with a new prosthetic leg, you can actually donate the old, unwanted one to charity! Legs4Africa collect unwanted prosthetics from individual donors and hospitals and send them to Africa, to give an amputee there the chance to walk again.
7) Your green fingers
While it may seem simple to us, older people can often struggle to maintain their own gardens. With charities like Age UK, you can volunteer to help an older person out with their gardening, providing them with some much-needed companionship in the process.
Looking for more ways you can help out? Have a read of this: 6 ways you can volunteer in your local community