Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, we all know that the holiday season is a great time to give back to those around us. In the midst of our festivities, it’s so easy to forget those who are less privileged than us.
This year, let’s look outside ourselves with these three simple tips on how we can serve our community during the festive season.
Now that the pandemic has lifted slightly, and it’s clearing leave season, volunteer your time to organisations in need! Instead of going for well-known organisations, spend some time looking up causes that mean more to you and contact them to see what they need most.
Examples of places to research include old folks’ homes, children’s homes, women's shelters, animal shelters, food banks, soup kitchens and drop-in centres. Doing the reading and talking to the people who work there will provide you better insight on what the most pressing needs are, rather than deciding an activity on your own.
If time is tight, or if you’re not yet comfortable going to a space physically, a financial contribution to an organisation of your choice is a viable option. Again, looking up causes you’re passionate about and talking to the people in charge to gauge what is needed is a great way to contribute meaningfully.
Like all suggestions here, the best way to provide help sustainably would be to opt for a monthly donation, or to start a fundraiser with a few other people. This helps especially if you’re not able to drop a lump sum as many organisations provide a way for regular, smaller donations. Most NGOs and other organisations offer tax exemptions as well!
If after speaking to a group, you realise their needs are more for certain things, opt for an in-kind contribution! Donating apparatus, equipment or even clothes is great in Malaysia for groups that don’t receive government funding.
If you’re thinking of giving away pre-loved items, a rule of thumb is to think about whether it is something you would give to a loved one. Our communities are our people, so strive to give them the best! Stay away from things that don’t function at its prime, or are not sanitary for second hand use.
Our communities don’t stop being in need outside of Christmas-time. Go above and beyond by making your contributions consistent, and connecting with the people within those communities too. A little goes a long way, LIVLOLA fam!
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