The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has helped bring social activism to light and show that you can have fun and promote really great causes. If you’re looking for something more engaged than just dumping ice on your head here are some ideas for fun ways to help people. Helping people can’t always be fun and it shouldn’t, but sometimes it can be.
1. Make Cards for Homeless Kids. Dosomething.org has a lot of cool ways to give back and one of the current campaigns is called “Birthday Mail.” You get use your mad crafting skills (of any level) to make birthday cards. Kids in shelters often don’t get to celebrate their birthdays, so you can send your cards to a common area where they will be disseminated to various shelters.
2. Crochet Bed Mats out of Plastic Bags. Anyone who does any amount of shopping has a ton of plastic bags. If you save them up, you can cut them up and tie them together in a sort of yarn-like fashion. Then if you follow along with this tutorial, you can make a mat for the homeless to sleep on. I’m hoping to try out knitting on this project, too. This is not a solution for homelessness but might make a homeless person’s life more comfortable and give you a chance to show him/her some love.
3. Remind People that Their Lives Matter. To Write Love on Her Arms is a great organization that as their mission says, “is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide.” They promote Suicide Prevention Day every year, and this year you can purchase a pack to help you promote as well. It comes with a t-shirt, bracelet, poster, and info cards to pass out and start conversations. The theme this year is “No one else can play your part” which is a conversation that we need to be having over and over with people we interact with.
4. Sponsor a Child. In many developing countries, children struggle to get an education. This cause is particularly important to me because I recently traveled to Guatemala to help in a school system in a garbage dump community. Now, I sponsor a little boy in that community through Safe Passage. I get to learn about him and write him letters and hear back from him, all while helping to support his family and his education. There are a lot of organizations in a lot of parts of the world that you can do this for. Do some research and check organizations on a site like Charity Navigator before deciding where to give your money.
5. Go Shopping. Looking for some new clothes, shoes or a bag? Why not buy ones that support a charity. Again, I’d suggest research but some of the organizations I enjoy are TOMs, INKKAS, The International Princess Project, and Pura Vida Bracelets.
These are just a couple of fun ways that I’ve found to make a difference in the world. When I’m looking for ideas, I pin them on my Mission Work board on Pinterest. I also get ideas from other people, so if you want to share, please do! We have the ability to make real changes. We just gotta start small.