From voluntourism to pro bono and beach cleaning with your bestie, everything helps.
Each year we make resolutions, that even with the best intentions, never quite happen. Whether it is losing weight, saving for a dream holiday, or pledging to give back to your local community; when you have a big list of resolutions it always seems to be the charitable efforts that fall off the list first. This year keep yourself accountable with these five tips.
1. Start a monthly direct debit to your charity or cause
Would you really miss $10 a month? Between brunch with the girls, a Friday night mojito or two, and your obsession with turmeric lattes, would you actually even notice the money going out of your account? We highly doubt it.
If you really are strapped for cash think about it this way: some if not all of us have a subscription to Netflix and Stan. Plus, Spotify, Apple Music… the list goes on. Do you really need all of them? If you choose one streaming service and spend the extra money setting up a direct debit for the year you could contribute $120 to a good cause (not that your watching reruns of the Office wasn’t a good cause).
2. What are your strengths?
Charitable work doesn’t have to mean opening your wallet. You can give back with your time or your knowledge instead. If you have a special skill, you could do some pro bono work for a not-for-profit organisation or a charity.
If wine drinking immediately comes to mind when you think of your skill set, that’s ok too. Order your fave Aussie tipple from Goodwill Wine who donate 50% of their profits to your chosen charity.
Even gift giving can offer opportunities for charitable donations. Next time you want fresh flowers for your house or as a gift for your bestie order them from Just Cause Bunch who donate all profits to local Queensland charities.
3. Make SMART goals
Don’t promise yourself you will volunteer once a week if you know you don’t have time. Ask yourself what you want to achieve, by when, and who for. Making your goals SMART, writing them down, and telling your friends and family what you plan to do will make it more likely to actually happen.
4. Sign up to volunteer with a friend
Signing up with a friend means you are less likely to bail if you get busy. Plus, what could be better than spending time with your best buds while helping the community. There are plenty of events that you can get involved with in and around Brisbane which mean getting outside, spending time with awesome people, and doing good. For example, coming up this month there is a beach clean on Nudgee Beach on January 28, 2018.
You can even make a difference while travelling the world with your pals. Voluntourism is a growing industry and there are trips to benefit all sort of causes. From camping and volunteering at the RSPCA to cruising the Caribbean Islands with Fathom (https://www.fathom.org/) to help islanders affected by hurricanes.
5. Make sure it is a cause you feel strongly about
If it is a cause you feel strongly about you are far more likely to follow through. Choosing a local charity means you can really see the change you make in your city. See below for some of our Stylers’ Brissy favourites.
RSPCA | Kiri Johnston | Digital Content Coordinator
I love supporting animal charities like the RSPCA or Animal Welfare League because they look after animals that have been abused or neglected and give them a chance to find a new home. People that are looking for a new pet should consider adopting from a charity rather than a pet store. The animals that get adopted are forever grateful – like my darling kelpie! If you want to help you can volunteer, make a donation or attend events such as RSPCA Million Paws Walk or the RSPCA Cupcake Day.
Wild Mountains | Bruce Thurtell | Distribution
I volunteer at Wild Mountains when I can. It is about teaching people how to reduce their footprint on our planet. We have regular volunteer weekends and the next one is Australia Day long weekend. Volunteers and donations always welcome!
Mater Little Miracles | Kristen Donaldson | Senior Designer
A charity very close to my heart is Mater Little Miracles. They help raise funds for life-saving research, care and equipment in the Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU). The NCCU saves lives of thousands of premature bubs every year – their work is nothing short of a miracle. You can help with their fundraising by holding fundraising events, donating money, volunteering or buying their merchandise.
LIVIN | Courtney Frank | Journalist
One particular charity that myself and my family support is LIVIN. LIVIN is a mental health awareness organisation that aims to destroy the stigma attached to mental illness. To me, the best part about LIVIN is that they connect, support and encourage everyone to talk about their feelings (without judgement) and they support this message with their motto “It ain’t weak to speak”. They have amazing education programs and awareness initiatives and I believe they are really shaking things up and slowly breaking down the mental health stigma in order to bring about change.
Youngcare | Tamika McInneny | Digital Manager
Youngcare is an amazing charity. They help young people with disabilities that need a high level of care or expensive equipment to enable them to live independently and lead fulfilling lives. Youngcare fund research, give grants, and provide specialist housing to young people in need. You can donate to the cause, volunteer for Youngcare or attend one of their fundraising events. We spoke to Anthony Ryan, the CEO of Youngcare, about the incredible tale of mateship that led to the inception of this non-profit organisation and how a little awareness can go a long way.
Lady Cilento | Kathryn Edmonds | Content Marketing Account Manager
My personal preference for a local charity is the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Lady Cilento Hospital. My sister is an intensive care nurse there, and the work these nurses and doctors do to help care for hundreds of sick kids on a daily basis is truly heroic. They accept volunteers as well as donations, and I would love to see more people get on board to assist the amazing work these medical professionals do day in and day out to help our children get well and have a better life.