Little ways to give something back

I’ll be honest: my monthly direct debit to The Brooke came about after I saw a TV advert featuring lots of sad donkeys and horses when I was EXTREMELY DRUNK one night. I came home from a night out, flicked on a show and then clearly felt so deeply upset about our four-legged friends that I immediately went to the website and signed up to donate £3 a month. I completely forgot about it until my welcome pack arrived a week or two later. My other charity direct debit to WWF was established when I was in completely sound mind – they said I could sponsor a penguin and I was completely sold. It’s hardly breaking the bank, but between the two charities it feels like £6 a month well spent.

Lots of us feel like we don’t do enough for charity – we feel like we should be giving more time and money and doing more to raise awareness for the causes we care about. I often find myself experiencing this guilt – the last thing I actively did for charity was in 2012 as a newly diagnosed diabetic when I did the Diabetes UK Bridge Challenge (if you’re interested, you can sign up for this year’s event here). We’re all busy, and it’s not always easy to commit time to this sort of thing (and you will never, repeat NEVER catch me running a marathon)… but here’s my secret: there’s an easier way to do your bit for charity.

There are lots of ways you can incorporate more charitable choices into your everyday life. When I was asked to review a bouquet from Cancer Research Flowers, it inspired me to write this post, not just about the blooms, but also about other easy swaps you can make in your normal life to give just a little bit more to charity.

Cancer Research Flowers

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I was kindly sent the beautiful Luxury Delight bouquet from Cancer Research Flowers, which is bursting with memory lane roses, deep water roses and stargazer lilies. Everything I buy at the moment is lilac (I’m trying to branch out from my default millennial pink obsession), and I LOVE the lilac roses in this bouquet! The giant pink lilies are gorgeous too, and the little spritzes of delicate white flowers keeps it all looking fresh and perfect for spring.

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The quality is just as good as any other professional bouquet I’ve ordered online, and the best thing about it is that 25% of the value of each bouquet goes directly to Cancer Research UK. Everyone wins – you (or your lucky recipient) gets a stunning bouquet, and you’re giving to charity with absolutely no effort required. I also love the Enchantment bouquet with its classy muted colour palette, and I’m already eyeing up the Beauty bouquet for my dressing table (I’ll allow myself a little millennial pink relapse for these delicate blush blooms). My bouquet also came with Charles the bear – here’s the little cutie peeking out over my pretty flowers!

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TPO SIM cards

If you’re in the UK and have a mobile phone, this is a super easy switch. TPO is all about making mobile matter, and they donate 10% of whatever you spend with them to a charity of your choice at no extra cost to you. That’s right – simply by using your mobile phone, you’ll give to charity each month. As well as this, TPO is committed to sharing a quarter of its profits through the TPO Foundation, so you know that just by texting, calling and using data on your phone as normal, you’re making a difference.

Your money goes to a cause of your choice, and if you can’t find a charity partner you like, TPO welcome suggestions for new charities. Whether your cause is healthcare, education, animal welfare or something completely different, there’s something for you. I think this is a brilliant idea – even if you can’t afford to give anything extra, this shows that simply making a smart choice still allows you to give to charity.

 

Everyclick search engine

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The vast majority of us head to Google when there’s something we want to know, whether it’s looking up a recipe, looking for inspiration for our next haircut or asking important questions like ‘what if aliens are on Earth but we’re just not capable of sensing them?’. But maybe instead of Googling, we should be saying ‘One sec, just going to Everyclick that’. Everyclick is pretty much the easiest thing you can do to raise money for charity. Just set it as your homepage and search away as normal, safe in the knowledge that every search you make is raising money for charity.

And it doesn’t stop there – Everyclick also displays a handy Give as you Live logo alongside retail sites so you can identify retailers that will donate to charity when you buy from them. There are over 200,000 charities to choose from, and Everyclick has raised close to £10m through people’s everyday search habits. It doesn’t cost you a penny, so this one really is a no brainer if you want to do something good every single day without even thinking about it!

TOMS shoes

I really love the simplicity of the TOMS One for One model: for every pair of their shoes you buy, they’ll give another pair to a person in need. It’s that easy! If you need new shoes anyway, this is such a simple way to help a stranger somewhere else in the world. Thanks to this initiative, over 2 million children worldwide have been protected from hookworm (a nasty infection picked up by walking barefoot in affected areas) with TOMS shoes and medication provided by their giving partners.

But that’s not all they do! Purchasing TOMS eyewear, coffee and bags also helps TOMS and their partners work with people at risk of losing their sight to prevent blindness, improve access to water and help provide safe births for women in the developing world. These are all things that most of us use, so it’s a pretty easy switch to make if you need a new pair of glasses or fancy shaking up your morning coffee routine. You can find out more about TOMS’ charity work here.

freerice.com

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I’ve used this site for years, and it’s a great way to kill five minutes when you need a little brain break at work. freerice.com is a simple game that requires you to identify the correct answer to a simple question. For each answer you get right, freerice.com donates 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme to help end world hunger. For a word person like me, this is a really fun way to spend a few minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I love Candy Crush (don’t tell anyone though), but I love knowing that answering a few questions every day is helping feed hungry people all over the world.

They’re nearly at 100 billion grains of rice donated. 100 BILLION! That’s crazy isn’t it? All because people swing by every now and then to play a fun little game! If you’re looking for a quick little distraction anyway, you might as well learn something AND help feed people all around the world, right?

Hygge worldwide

The thing about hygge is that it isn’t just limited to you and your immediate friends and family. While most of it will be, it’s totally possible to get that warm fuzzy feeling of contentment and wellbeing from doing nice things for others, whether you’ll ever meet them or not. Children love dropping their small change in charity pots, and the vast majority of us feel a little bit brighter when we’ve done something good, and ultimately, whether it strictly qualifies as hygge or not (and really, it’s not like it’s an exact science), it’s nice to be nice, whether that’s for someone you know or not. With the bid for hygge to receive UNESCO World Heritage status, hygge is truly going global, so now’s a better time than ever before to do whatever you can to support people who need a little bit of help – and it doesn’t have to cost you a penny.

What do you do in your normal life to give a little something back? Let me know in the comments!

This post was written in collaboration with Cancer Research Flowers
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