Tis’ the season to be charitable; why I’m donating this christmas

December 10, 2012
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Its not exactly surprising that UK charities raise more money in December than in any other month of the year. It is a time that reminds people of just how lucky they are, how blessed, how they should really give a little something back. However, i’m just wondering, how many of these people are teenagers like us. I for one have never properly donated to a charity. Of course i’ve taken part in the odd charity fun run or thrown a few quid into a remembrance day bucket, but never have I phoned an actual charity specifically to donate my own cash. It’s not like the adverts which seem to engulf the TV as christmas approaches aren't touching or compelling; in fact, on a bad day the thought of Enid being alone on christmas day or Maya not getting any clean water, is enough to reduce me to tears - I just never seem to actually pick up the phone. So this year how can I motivate myself, hopefully others to change this.
The first step is to decide where you want your money to go and with over 171000 registered charities in the UK alone, this is no mean feat. As I write this I am skimming through the google search results for “christmas charity donate” and finding it harder and harder to make any sort of decision. Do I play it close to home and give to cancer research? Should I go overseas and donate to wateraid’s fund? Or, should I get in the christmas spirit by giving to the salvation army? Luckily, one positive side to going through all of these results is that, the more websites I browse through, the more pleas I read, the more motivated I am to give. All of these charities are ridiculously easy to donate to and, having just been won over by another tear jerking salvation army advert on TV and donated my £10, definitely worth the measly fifteen minutes it took me to do so.

However, I know that christmas is an expensive time and that as we get older we can no longer rely on our parents to buy all the presents and stick our names on the tags but, don’t worry. If giving money just isn’t an option then here are some other ways to make a difference this christmas:

. Buy gifts from charity shops - Charity shops make great hunting grounds for affordable, interesting gifts and generate vital income for charities. (two birds, one stone!)
. Donate unwanted gifts to charity shops
. Volunteer - whether you sign up to help at a homeless shelter or even just offer to sweep a drive for an elderly neighbor you could make a real difference to someones christmas.
. Go caroling - a perfect way to get yourself and others into the festive mood and also an opportunity to earn a few more pennies to give.
. persuade parents to donate - if you cant donate, why not persuade others to instead!

So now theres no excuse, its all to easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of christmas, to simply see it as an opportunity to wrangle a new phone from parents and grandparents and forget that its not just about ‘getting stuff’. In fact the reason that, even at this age we do still get excited, is because it really is about more than that, and donating even a small amount to a charity is really a very good way to remember that this december.
Merry Christmas

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