How to be a hero.
Often the things that make the most difference in life aren’t the grand gestures or the grandiose gifts, but the little things. The things that actually don’t require a lot of time, effort or money, the things that require little more than an awareness and a willingness to act.
As the cold sweeps over the Southern Hemisphere, and the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to hit us with force, we should all be looking for ways to help where we can.
We’ve rounded up five very different, but equally important ways you can make a difference this season.
Blood is life, literally, and without donations the medical fraternity would be unable to help thousands of people each year, as there is simply no substitute for human blood. Hospitals and clinics rely on the generosity of blood donors to ensure they always have additional stock in supply.
Donating blood is far less daunting than a lot of people think. It’s quick, painless and does not affect the wellbeing of the donor. Less than 1% of the South African population are regular blood donors so the need is massive, as is the pool of potential donors. Blood donors need to be aged between 16 and 75, weigh more than 50kg and lead a healthy health. What’s more, one donation can save up to three lives.
For information on how to become a donor, visit the website of the South African National Blood Service.
Give back every time you shop, at no cost to you
If you want to support a specific cause but don’t always have extra funds to donate, consider joining the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet loyalty programme. Every time you shop at one of their retail partners, in-store or online, they will give back to your chosen cause, at no cost to you.
The trusted MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme makes giving back simple and sustainable, without costing you a cent. There are hundreds of schools and causes to choose from, you can add up to three causes close to your heart and rest assured every time you swipe your card, your causes will benefit. Retail partners include Woolworths, Engen, Loot.co.za, Bidvest Waltons, Builders, and others. You can join by visiting myschool.co.za or downloading the app and choosing your beneficiaries. This tiny task makes a huge difference.
Register as a bone and tissue donor
Bone and tissue donation plays a vital role in improving the quality of life for thousands of patients every year. Thousands of South Africans receive life enhancing bone transplants to heal bone fractures, fill in bone defects, or create bone where it has been lost.
This is according to Bone SA, a registered non-profit organisation committed to promoting the interests of people impacted by disease and injury who would benefit from donated bone or tissue, including corneas, heart valves and skin.
What’s more, some 85% of people who die could help others through tissue donation and, significantly, one tissue donation can save or improve the lives of up to 65 people. All that is required to become a bone and tissue donor after death, is to sign up as an organ donor with the Organ Donor Foundation, and share your wishes of being a donor with your next of kin.
Clearout your clutter
One’s trash is another’s treasure, the saying goes, so how about bringing the spring clean forward this year and taking a couple of hours on the weekend to comb through your home and decide what you don’t need, use or want anymore, and donate it to a relevant charity.
From clothes to books, linen, crockery, games and even furniture, most of us have far more than we need in our homes. Gifting these things to organisations that help communities in various ways is a great way to make a difference while relieving yourself of the burden of excess that cramps your spaces (and style).
Buy a bracelet
Another cool way to make a real difference is by supporting companies that give back to the community. Relate Bracelets, for example, is a 100% not-for-profit enterprise that donates all its earned revenue to social upliftment initiatives across the country. So you can look stylish while supporting those who most need our help during these challenging times. Bracelets are available at selected retailers, including Woolworths, Poetry, Old Khaki, Tourvest Destination Retail, Cape Union Mart, and Clicks.