Starting off with donations, I have seen many Christmas appeals for charities this year - some good, some I didn't get to the end of. In offices across the UK (and in fact the world) fundraisers are trying to get their cause across to people, and stand out from the crowd. In the end I didn't donate to any of the appeals that I was sent. I chose to make a donation to the Christmas appeal of a small charity I have been volunteering with, PANDAS Foundation, which supports families affected by pre and post natal depression. Not only do I think it is an amazing cause, but they are only 3 years old and have no paid members of staff so their reach is small, plus I wrote their Xmas campaign so wanted it to be a success!!! The next donation I made was to Fight for Sight, it's not an organisation I've been involved with previously but I felt moved to as my friend's little boy was born blind with a genetic eye disorder, and they have funded research projects into his condition in the past.
That for me is where the money stopped so far, but I tried to do my bit in other ways. I gave blood, something I have been doing for years and passionately believe all who can should do, and seeing as I do most of my shopping online (shops and 2 small boys do not mix well!) I am raising money on a daily basis via Give as You Live. This website (an offshoot of Everyclick) has been around for a few years now, but it has one recent amazing improvement, you can install a toolbar to appear at the top of all websites affiliated with the site to remind you to turn it on. No more remembering to go to another website before you do your shopping means it is easy to use all the time.
I will probably throw some change in collection buckets (I've been there, it's cold and any donations you get make the time pass quicker), buy some extra food for the food bank collections and may well be inspired by other charitable causes or the occasional raffle. It might not be much, but I'm doing what I can in straightened times and as the saying goes 'every little helps'.