I am popping in from my rest break to do February’s charity of the month. Supporting disaster relief after the earthquakes in Turkey/Syria is an obvious choice. The news & images in the aftermath of the tragedy have been utterly heartbreaking.
I didn’t know where to donate, but after reading positive things about DEC my mind was made up. 20,000 people have already lost their lives and a further 17 million remain in the affected areas. They are in urgent need of food, shelter and medical aid. In the midst of winter conditions will only become more critical. If you can, please consider making a donation.
Christmas is a time for giving. However, given the current economic state it’s understandable that more people than ever are unable to be as charitable as they’d like. Thus, I thought I’d offer some easy (& free) ways to help
Give Your Best is a tech for good enterprise that allows people to donate quality clothes. Clothes are shown on their website and can be shopped by those in need. The organisation supports people in the UK who are seeking asylum, refuge, have been victims of trafficking, destitute with no recourse to public funds or have precarious immigration status. The platform accepts donation of clothes, shoes & accessories and allows people to pick the items they want at no charge. It’s a simple system that engenders choice. If you have items that would be of use to someone please sign up in the website.
Smalls for All accepts donations of new pants and new or gently used underwear. They work with various organisations who disturb the items throughout the UK & Africa. Pants can be picked up so cheaply & if you’re anything like me you will have bras that you wore once and found it didn’t fit properly or didn’t give you the shape you wanted. Small for All facilitates getting those garments to people who need them.
Many charities can raise funds by recycling used stamps. All you have to do is cut them from the envelopes they arrive in and send to any of the following organisations.
Finally is you are able giving blood is an amazing way to help others. As a recipient I am eternally grateful to the people who donated the blood I needed. Uk blood stocks have been alarmingly low this year. Although they are now recovering, blood donors are always needed. You can find out if your are eligible & how to donate here.
I joined my local Facebook group during the refuse strikes because I never knew what I supposed to be doing with my bins. I had mostly forgotten about it until recently when I noticed that folk were using it to help those in need in our community. I was so impressed with how tirelessly some people work to make sure no one goes without essentials.
I hadn’t considered this way of helping out before, but it really is incredibly straightforward. You can donate clothes & items that you don’t use. Little gifts, toiletries etc that will make a huge different to families who are struggling this winter. I don’t necessarily believe in the ‘charity begins at home’ mantra, but I do hate to think of neighbours being in dire straits. We all know that this year it’s harder than ever to make ends meet, it’s good to know that we can take simple steps to help.
Please check out local community, facebook groups etc if you are having a clear out or can afford to pick up a few extras this Xmas season. There are undoubtedly families close by who’s Christmas would be greatly improved by these little acts of kindness.
Kid’s Out provide Xmas gifts for children in refuge. You can select & pay for a gift online.
Alternatively, you can’t make online donations to a the following groups.
The Trussel Trust is the UK’s largest foodbank group. You can donate online to support their work of keeping people fed this winter.
Refuge have an option to buy a Xmas dinner parcel for a family of various sizes. You can help provide a happier festive period for families feeling domestic violence.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I know there are lots of campaigns at the moment, but I want to suggest a less discussed group. METUPUK are a patient advocacy group who push to promote issues related to secondary/metastatic cancer.
In the UK 31 women a day die from secondary breast cancer. Despite this secondary cancers are often less visible. People living with secondary cancer need better drug access, more drug trials and more awareness.
I was shocked when I learned that figure. I discovered it through an Instagram friend, who is living with secondary cancer. The lack of knowledge about a disease that effects so many people is appalling. Please consider making a donation if you can.
This month I decided to support Animals Asia. As the name suggests the work to improve the life of abused animals in Asia.
I’m a life long animal lover. I have always been involved in animal rights activism in whatever capacity I am able. When I read about the plight of bears in bile farms I was simultaneously heartbroken & enraged. After further reading I discovered that Animals Asia also fight for the welfare of cats & dogs in China and captive animals across Asia.
No animal should spend their life in a cage. Be ripped from their mother at birth. Endure pain & suffering for their entire existence. Animals are intelligent, sensitive creatures who deserve so much more than they are subjected to for human profit.
You can help them run their sanctuaries and ensure the welfare of countless animals. If you can, please consider making a donate.
This month’s Charity of the Month is the wonderful Scottish Trans Alliance . If you’re not mad about the current discourse surrounding trans rights then this probably isn’t the blog for you.
The mainstream media in the UK is nothing short of vile to and about trans people and the government (uk) refuses to protect them. The political climate is repulsive. It feels very much like we are reliving the late 80’s persecution of gay people. Obviously both groups have been discriminated against outwith these periods, but there is a mirroring that I find particularly disturbing. We’ve been here before; we know those views are wrong and disgusting. Yet, here we are. Demonising, endangering and excluding people who have already had to fight too hard just to exist.
The Scottish Trans Alliance do incredible work in trying to ensure we live in the world in which a person’s gender identity, expression and history do not lead to discrimination. They participate in campaigning, legislation consultation, fund research and hold conferences/other forums to connect and support trans people in Scotland.
For the record, you are not a feminist if you do not support trans rights. Equally you are not fighting for diversity or equality if you want to remove letters from LBGTQ+. If like me, you know that trans rights are human rights please donate to Scottish Trans.
Given the leak from the Supreme Court regarding overturning Roe Vs Wade turned out to be accurate, choosing a cause to support this month was easy. I am horrified at the implications this decision will have.
Telling half the population they have no right over their own body is barbaric. This is a death sentence for so many people. As with most of these hard right agendas, it will disproportionately impact poor people. Those with money will always find ways to access abortion services. It isn’t possible to ban abortion, removing legal access only makes the procedure unsafe. Make no mistake, this will kill people. Be clear also, that the right will not stop with abortion. This is the start of an erosion of the rights of women & those with ovaries.
If you are in the states I urge you to contact your representatives and let them know how ardently you oppose this move. Where ever you are in the world, if you have means please consider donating to organisations who help people access abortion care.
Since the emergence of omicron I have been increasingly relieved that I have had acesss to two vaccines & a booster. As a chronically ill person I can’t afford to be blasé about any variant. It also leads to me think about those who don’t have free access to these life saving jabs.
As a result this month I have decided to support Care International’s campaign to fund the cost of covid vaccines for the world’s poorest & most vulnerable families. Care put the cost at £22, but you can donate more or less. It is disgusting that the most vulnerable people do not have access to these vital vaccinations. If we are in a position to make a donation I really feel we have a responsibility to do so.
Christmas is rushing at us. If you’re like me you’ll be trying to get those presents wrapped, cards out and all the festive food in. Amongst all the busy, busy I’m reminding myself that I’m so lucky that I am in a position to do these things.
It is wonderful to share food & good times with people you care about at Xmas. It is even better to have stage security that allows us to indulge in those things. So, if you can, please consider helping those who do not have that luxury.
I’ve talked about Social Bite before, but they are an amazing organisation. Buying a homeless person Xmas dinner only costs £5 and can make a huge difference to someone. It feels like an excellent way to have an impact even if you don’t have much to spare.
If you are an animal lover and would like to help provide safe, loving home for farm animals Tribe Sanctuary are amazing. The rescue animals that would otherwise go to slaughter or be put down. They have so much passion for these animals and give them a beautiful life.
Hospices so hard & important work all year round. I can only imagine that it can be more difficult at this time of year. Strathcarron Hospice is a lovely facility that cared for someone in my extended family. They provide essential end of life care and are not government funded. If you could share some Christmas love with them it would go to very good use.
Christmas is around the corner & along with all the big Xmas ads come the Sally Army appeals. They portray a kindly organisation providing aid for poor suffering souls. I understand why well meaning folks send money their way at Christmas. However, there is darkness behind that brass band. Thus, I want to urge to support less judgmental groups.
The Salvation Army are the quintessential ‘sing for your supper’ charity. Their help does not come without strings. There have been many reported cases of discrimination against LGBTQ+ & addict users of Sally Army services. The church is anti LBGTQ+, anti choice, anti harm reduction drug policies et al. You can find more information here & here. Of course you are free to give donate your money anywhere you please, but if this doesn’t align with your beliefs there are many excellent alternatives.
Social Bite are a incredible organisation who provide hot meals, employment & social housing for homeless people. You can donate in a variety of ways including pay it forward meals in their restaurants.
Birth,Baby & Beyond provide essentials for new parents & families. With the recent £20 cut in Universal Credit combined with rising prices of almost everything struggling families are facing extreme crisis. B,B&B accept donations of baby equipment, clothes, toys & food. They currently have an emergency pack appeal that requires support. Please donate if you can.
Kid’s Out allow you donate a Xmas present to children who many not otherwise receive one. Many of the children they live with are in refuge escaping domestic violence. The simple requests are heartbreaking, these kids really deserve to have gifts under their tree. You can now pick a toy & buy it on their website, so it could not be easier.
I will be sharing more charities making a difference at Xmas over the coming weeks. If you are in a position to do so, I hope you will lend your support.
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